PAUL HYMAN and son, Henry, get ready to bike along the 5 mile Brunswick Landing Perimeter Trail Saturday.

PAUL HYMAN and son, Henry, get ready to bike along the 5 mile Brunswick Landing Perimeter Trail Saturday.

BRUNSWICK

The opening of the newly improved Brunswick Landing Perimeter Trail was celebrated Saturday, with bicyclists and walkers ready to traverse the 5-mile trail that leads into Brunswick Landing from Pine Street.

The trail, which connects to other routes at Brunswick Landing, has been a community effort, and an early vision of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority and other community partners after the Navy base closed in 2011, said Parks and Recreation Director Thomas Farrell.

TOM BRUBAKER, Melissa Fochesato, Angela Twitchell and Kathy Wilson, from left, unveil the new sign for the Brunswick Landing Perimeter Trail Saturday.

TOM BRUBAKER, Melissa Fochesato, Angela Twitchell and Kathy Wilson, from left, unveil the new sign for the Brunswick Landing Perimeter Trail Saturday.

The trail has a southern connection at the intersection of Route 123 and Middle Bay Road.

Farrell said trails will eventually traverse the entirety of the former base property. He said various community partners that own portions of the land will continue to work to build the trail system over time as funds and volunteers are available.

A WOMAN walks her dog on the Brunswick Landing Perimeter Trail Saturday morning.

A WOMAN walks her dog on the Brunswick Landing Perimeter Trail Saturday morning.

An agreement has been executed between the town, Bowdoin College and MRRA to work in unison to maintain the trail system as the Brunswick landing property develops.

With the REAL School and Harpswell Coastal Academy joining the recreation department, the YMCA and colleges at the base, safe and convenient access to those locations and amenities from the trail is a necessity, those who spoke at the ceremony reiterated.

“I’m proud and honored to be here,” Town Council Vice Chairwoman Kathy Wilson said during the ceremony.

She joked that although she is a bike rider, she’s not the type to wear spandex. Wilson also serves on the bicycle and pedestrian safety committee.

“The council supports outdoor activity,” Wilson said. “We just want everybody to be happy, and this trail system will be a destination.”

Larry Kline, a long-time supporter of the project and member of the committee who helped form the trail system, said many people have put a tremendous amount of effort into the project, with years of planning going into creating this first part of what is envisioned as an extensive trail system.

“It’s a community project, and that’s what we need, community involvement,” Kline said, adding the trails are multi-use, multi-season, and can be for running, biking, snowshoeing and crosscountry skiing.

Eleven-year-old Chase Senecal and friend, Sawyer Prescott, also 11, were also ready to ride the trail on a foggy Saturday morning, saying they were excited to try it.

Anita Lichman and her six-year-old son Jacob Lichman Paul came from Arrowsic for the trail opening ceremony. She said they come to Brunswick to ride their bikes, noting how important it is to have a safe place to walk and ride with a young child.

A grant from Mid Coast Hospital allowed the road to be stenciled and for trail signs to be erected. Melissa Fochesato, director of communications and health promotion for the hospital said the trail promotes physical activity, which is a necessary component of a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy community.

Tom Brubaker, public works director and facilities director for MRRA, said the original re-use land for the base always included a bike and pedestrian path. He said businesses have been supporting the trails, and that he appreciates the outdoor connections.

“It’s part of our commitment to connectivity,” Brubaker said.

Angela Twitchell, executive director of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, said the land trust will be involved to help recruit volunteers to develop maintain the trial as well as assist with the management plan.

Brunswick resident and primary care physician Paul Hyman and his three-yearold son, Henry, attended the ceremony and looked forward to a bike ride on the trial. Hyman said the trail is great for running, as well as biking.


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