By Julie Huss
---- — Connecting the dots is one way to make a regional trail system come to life.
With Derry’s rail group working on the community’s trail system Londonderry trail supporters now hope voters may spend money to get that town’s system moving along.
At a recent town budget hearing, Londonderry resident Polly Ann Winslow told officials she hoped voters might approve funding to pave a portion of the town’s trail system.
“We feel it would be an appropriate time to propose a warrant article,” Winslow said, “to see if citizens are interested in seeing the trail get paved and operational.”
The cost to pave would not be more than $187,000, Winslow said.
Residents can also support the trail project with donations and other sponsorships.
Federal transportation stimulus money could also support the project.
The Londonderry Trailways group spent time in November doing a major cleanup of the property, cutting down about 2,000 feet of overgrowth on railroad tracks from Mammoth Road to Little Cohas Brook.
“That part is completely cleaned and ready to go,” Winslow said.
Derry rail trail officials are happy to hear that.
“It’s one more piece of the old Manchester and Lawrence line moving us that much closer to the dream of having a continuous rail trail from Salem to Concord — actually over the border into Methuen all the way to Concord,” Derry Rail Trail Alliance president Erich Whitney said.
Derry officially dedicated its newest portion of the trail this year leading from the downtown to the Windham town line.
An informational kiosk marks the beginning of the trail behind Sabatino’s restaurant.
“It’s been almost five years in the making to this point,” Whitney said. “It’s pretty clear it’s something the community responded to positively.”
Whitney expressed his hopes that Londonderry, too, would continue its trail work as part of the overall regional system.
“We still have the last section through Derry to meet Londonderry but it’s our hope that we can make that happen if more of the corridor is completed, putting public pressure on the people holding up the land,” Whitney said.
He said Derry’s trail group is working with Londonderry to offer any help and advice it needs as it’s trail project moves forward.
“I would consider Derry a success today but it will be even a greater success once the entire corridor is open to the public and accessible as a multi-use public trail,” Whitney said. “It’s important that we connect the dots.”