History of the MRGT

1990

In a report to the non-profit Concord Conservation Trust, Woodward Planning Consultants, Inc., documents a goal of "creating, for the benefit of the general public, a trail system, throughout the greenway along the more than 14 miles of embankments of the Merrimack as it meanders through the City."

2003

As part of its response to public comments on the design of the Interstate 93 widening project, the NHDOT hires Rizzo Engineers to study the feasibility of a bike path between Concord and Salem, NH. Rizzo determines it is feasible and recommends an option that includes the reuse of miles of abandoned railroad rights of way between the state line in Salem and the Concord/Pembroke City Line.

2004

The Friends of the Northern Rail Trail open miles of new trails on what once was a rail line connecting Boscawen and Lebanon. The plan is to build it to within about one half mile of the Concord/Boscawen City Line.

2006

A group called the New Hampshire Rail Trail Coalition forms around a major ambitious objective of building a continuous off-road trail from Salem to Lebanon. The MRGT would be the connecting link between Pembroke and Boscawen.

2009

June 8 -- Concord Planning Board adopts the "Concord Master Plan 2030", containing several references to non-motorized trails along the Merrimack River.

2009

December 7 -- The Bicycling Subcommittee of Concord's Transportation Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC-Bike) holds a very well attended public meeting to obtain resident input for Concord's first "Bicycle Master Plan". The desire among participants for bike paths and trails is a common theme throughout the meeting.

2010

May 26 -- The Board of Directors of Concord 2020 votes to appropriate $18,000 to the Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission (CNHRPC) to study the feasibility of building a multi-use trail along the Merrimack River.

2010

August 20 -- Fay, Spofford and Thorndike (FST) Engineers is selected as the consultant to study the feasibility of building a trail along the Merrimack River.

2011

March
14 -- The Concord City Council accepts the Feasibility Study and authorizes City staff to work with trail advocates to raise funds and build the trail.

2011

July 14 -- 46 volunteers, with the help of City employees and equipment, remove 30 cubic yards of trash from the east bank of the Merrimack River, south of Loudon Road, in less than two hours.

2011

October 19 -- "Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail, Inc.", is registered as a nonprofit corporation under New Hampshire law.

2011

November 1 -- Incorporators of the Friends of the MRGT ratify the corporation's bylaws, expand the Board of Trustees to 9 members, and appoint officers.

2011

November 14 -- The Board of Trustees meet in their official capacity for the first time.

2011

November 16 -- The Board of Directors of the Central New Hampshire Bicycle Coalition pledge a contribution of $1,500 as start-up funding for the MRGT.

2011

December 12 -- Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail Trustees and Officers release the organizational Articles of Agreement and Bylaws to the public.

2012

February 15 -- Friends of the MRGT file an application for "Tax Exempt" status with IRS.

2012

July 22 -- We hold our first triathlon in the cornfields and the river

2014

Winter -- Trustees help Concord prepare a lengthy application for a ​Land and Water Conservation Fund grant.

2015

January -- The City of Concord submits an application for a Land and Water Conservation Fund.

2015

May 13 -- Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail is awarded a "Well Done!" award by the Concord Area Wellness Coalition in the Community Wellness Effort category.

2015

September 1 -- The City of Concord is awarded $100,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to design and construct part of the first section of the trail in Terrill Park. Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail pledge $100,000 toward the required match.

2016

February -- Design begins on a 150-foot section of trail and a 100-foot long section of boardwalk in Terrill Park.

2016

August 8 -- Concord City Council renews and strengthens its support for the Merrimack River Greenway Trail and authorizes the City Manager to apply for an $800,000 boardwalk construction grant.

2016

August 21 -- The Concord Monitor adds its editorial support to the Merrimack River Greenway Trail.

2020

September -- The City of Concord opens the first phase of the MRGT--a 1/3-mile long section in Terrill Park. Due to COVID-19, it was a quiet ceremony, not covered by the press.