A group of local residents and officials are working to convert an abandoned rail corridor between Medfield and Needham into a new greenway for walking, running and biking.
The group has launched a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise enough money to begin work on what has been called the "Bay Colony Rail Trail," which would span seven miles through Medfield, Dover and Needham. The effort has thus far gained 45 backers and earned $4,233 toward its goal of $15,000.
The project, in essence, would involve pulling up of old rails and ties, performing site work and topping the trail with stone dust. Officials hope to break ground on the project by late summer.
"The path will provide a safe and natural facility for hiking, walking, running, biking, cross-country skiing and other recreational activities," the proposal reads.
The corridor is currently owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which is willing to lease the trail for 99 years at no cost, according to the Kickstarter campaign.
The project is currently planned as a private-public project, with representatives from Medfield, Dover and Needham sharing the planning, funding and administration of the initiative with the nonprofit Bay Colony Rail Trail Association.
Each town is to be responsible for all matters related to approval of the trail, and rail trail committees have been formed in each town, including volunteers of all ages, according to the campaign.
The Medfield trail section would comprise 1.5 miles from the Dover line to Ice House Road near the Kingsbury Club and the Medfield Senior Center.
The Dover trail section, meanwhile, would comprise 3.5 miles from the Charles River to Hunt Drive, and the Needham trail section would run along two miles from Needham Junction to the Charles River.
The current plan would allow for the trail to be open from dawn to dusk, and the BCRTA aims to plan, design, create and maintain the trail at little or no cost to the towns, though the towns can choose to cover some maintenance tasks on the trail, according to the campaign.