Weymouth, MA – Mayors Robert Hedlund of Weymouth and Joseph Sullivan of Braintree joined commissioners of the Weymouth-Braintree Regional Recreation Conservation District to celebrate the completion of more than 1,500 feet of newly restored bike and walking paths in Pond Meadow Park. This regional capital improvement project was funded jointly by the Towns of Braintree and Weymouth, matching a $100,000 grant secured through the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Program.
“The bike and walking paths at Pond Meadow Park provide countless benefits to the families and enthusiasts who use them,” said Mayor Robert Hedlund. “Whether by access to our shared conservation lands, or by the opportunities created for healthy, outdoor recreation, these trails have enhanced the quality of life in Braintree and Weymouth for more than 30 years. I am grateful to our partners at the District and the Town of Braintree, as well as Pond Meadow’s Forest and Park Supervisor Sean Cleaves, for helping ensure that these paths will continue to be available for future generations.”
In July 2017, the Weymouth-Braintree Regional Recreation Conservation District secured a $100,000 grant through the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Program to restore deteriorated segments of Pond Meadow Park’s popular bike and walking paths. The grant application was prepared by District Commissioner Mike Richardi, and the Towns of Braintree and Weymouth contributed $25,000 each in Community Preservation funds, for a total project budget of $150,000. More than 1,500 feet of paved pathways were restored, marking the first renovations in more than 30 years for these segments of the park’s trail system. Technical assistance was provided by Braintree’s Assistant Town Engineer John Morse, and construction was completed by Capone Brothers Inc. of Stoughton.
The heavily-used bike and walking paths at Pond Meadow Park encircle a 20-acre pond and provide a two-mile loop for outdoor enthusiasts to traverse the park’s 320 acres of conservation lands, including woodlands, meadows, and marshes. The pathways were first constructed in 1984, and are a popular recreational resource for walkers, joggers, and bicyclists alike. During the winter months, these paths are also a popular destination for cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing.
The Massachusetts Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federal assistance program, administered at the state level, which provides annual funding to benefit the development and maintenance of local community trails, long-distance trail systems, and regional multi-use pathways, such as those found in Pond Meadow Park. Funding for the RTP is provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Surface Transportation Act, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). All RTP grant applications are reviewed by the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Advisory Board, which is an independent volunteer board appointed by the DCR Commissioner.