Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The Groveland Open Space and Trails Committee will periodically update this list of common questions from community members regarding the Groveland Community Trail project. 

What questions do you have?
Let us know!

Frequently asked questions

Current Status & Next Steps

Who is leading efforts to develop the Groveland Community Trail?


Groveland's Open Space and Trails Committee (OSTC), in coordination with Groveland's Finance Director, is leading project efforts. OSTC will continute to also engage other Town bodies (e.g., Board of Selectmen, and Community Preservation Committee). Stantec is the Town's engineer partner.




Who is the Town's engineering partner?


Through an RFP in 2014, Groveland selected Stantec (formerly, Fay Spofford and Thorndike) to be its engineer partner.




What stage is the project at today?


The 25% Public Design Hearing is complete, and construction funding is set to be received in the Spring of 2019.

For more information: see estimated timeline




Has Groveland OSTC spoken with National Grid?


Yes. Groveland OSTC met with National Grid in January 2014. The conversation was welcoming, optimistic and supportive. A "25% Design Plan" will be submitted to National Grid in 2015. The end goal for both sides is an agreeable design to justify a 99-year lease. National Grid is aware of our ongoing progress.




When will the Groveland Community Trail be completed?


Current projections suggest a completed Groveland Community Trail in 2019. (see estimated project timeline)




Who owns the land that the proposed trail will sit on?


The off-road segment from Main Street (at former Esty Lumber site) to King Street is currently a utility right-of-way occupied and operated by National Grid. (see assessor maps)

The Town of Groveland owns the streets & sidewalks currently planned for the on-road segment from Main Street (at former Esty Lumber site) to Groveland Town Hall.

As planned, no private land will be impacted to develop the Groveland Community Trail.




Will any private property be taken?


No. Current plans do not call for any easements or other means of taking private property to accommodate design or construction of the proposed Groveland Community Trail.




Can I walk the proposed trail's path today?


Individuals can, of course, access the proposed on-road segment from Town Hall to 441 Main Street, however, the proposed off-road segment from Main Street at Esty Lumber to King Street is privately owned and not legally accessible without express written consent from National Grid.

You can, however, explore via Google Maps (click here)




When will the Groveland Community Trail be completed?


Current projections suggest a completed Groveland Community Trail in 2019. (see estimated project timeline)




When will the Groveland Community Trail be completed?


Current projections suggest a completed Groveland Community Trail in 2019. (see estimated project timeline)





How can I get involved?

As a resident, how can I help?


"Like" us on Facebook to keep informed about upcoming information sessions and other activites at which you can contribute your ideas. The Open Space and Trails Committee is excited hear residents' great ideas. Ultimately, any final trail design will be the result of a collaborative effort driven by a constructive and iterative community dialogue.

You can also sign up for our newsletter or send us your comments, suggestions and questions.





Paying For The Groveland Community Trail

How will the proposed Groveland Community Trail be paid for?


The Open Space & Trails Committee anticipates that the trail will be developed using a combination of Town and MassDOT/federal funds. Current plans anticipate CPA funds to pay for engineering-design efforts, with all post-design construction funds to be provided by MassDOT. (funding details)

As planned, NO TAXES OR NON-CPA FUNDS WILL BE USED




As a taxpayer, will my taxes go up to build the trail?


No. Current plans do require any tax dollars or non-CPA funds . All required town funds for design would be paid for with Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds. MassDOT would contribute all post-design construction funds. (more about funding)




Who will pay for maintaining the trail?


As proven in other towns, simple and repeatable fundraising efforts are more than adequate to cover the dollars needed for normal and recurring maintenance. For example, in Danvers, Salisbury, and Newburyport, a mile-marker sponsorship program brings in multiple thousands of dollars, while offering residents and businesses an opportunity to support and engage with the trail.




In the end, how much will the proposed Groveland Community Trail cost the town of Groveland?


The Open Space & Trails Committee estimates that the trail will cost the Town approximately $550,000 to design -- all paid for with existing Community Preservation (CPA) funds, with no required tax increase or other non-CPA funds whatsoever.

In order to be awarded MassDOT grants to pay for final construction, it is required that all pre-construction design costs be paid for by the Town. Groveland's investment will be committed in stages over multiple years. Upon MassDOT’s approval of a final design and funding application, the Commonwealth can commit construction funds (typical 80% of the total project cost). In this example, that is upwards of $5,000,000 of MassDOT funds to build the physical trail. More accurate numbers will be available in the coming months. (more about funding)




What is MassDOT's Incentive to Fund this Type of Project?


From the MassDOT website: On June 2, 2010, MassDOT launched GreenDOT, a comprehensive environmental responsibility and sustainability initiative that will make MassDOT a national leader in “greening” the state transportation system.

GreenDOT will be driven by three primary goals:

  1. Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

  2. Promote the healthy transportation options of walking, bicycling, and public transit

  3. Support smart growth development

Complete details at http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/GreenDOT.aspx





Trail Facts

When will the Groveland Community Trail be completed?


Current projections suggest a completed Groveland Community Trail in 2019. (see estimated project timeline)




What Town assets will the Groveland Community Trail connect?


The Pines Recreation Area, the future recreation facilities at the Center Street Greenway, Shanahan Field, Bagnall Elementary School, Perry Park Nursery School, Groveland Center, Elm Park, the Langley-Adams Public Library, and the Groveland Town Hall, Police & Fire Departments will all be connected, while also linking with walking access to Riverside Plaza in Haverhill via Bates Bridge. (see benefits)

The trail will be publicly accessible at several points, including near multiple residential neighborhoods in South Groveland (see interactive map)




When will the Groveland Community Trail be completed?


Current projections suggest a completed Groveland Community Trail in 2019. (see estimated project timeline)




What will the proposed trail's surface be?


The on-road segment, from Town Hall the former Esty Lumber site, will be a combination of on-road and bicycle-friendly sidewalks. Along the power lines from Esty Lumber to King Street, hopefully on National Grid's right-of-way, the path will be asphalt paved or stone dust (a key design element to be determined through Town discussion) (see detailed maps)




How wide will the proposed trail be?


This specific will be determined later in the design phase, but best-guess estimates suggest anywhere from 6-12 feet for the on-road segments and 10-14 feet for the off-road segments.




How long will the proposed trail be?


The Groveland Community Trail will be approximately 3.5 miles long from its start at Town Hall to its end at King Street. (see maps).




Is the proposed Groveland Community Trail and the Groveland Rail Trail the same thing?


Essentially, yes. Current plans for the Groveland Community Trail will extend from Town Hall to King Street (see maps). This is an adaptation of former discussions for a Groveland Rail Trail which would have run border-to-border, Bradford to Georgetown, entirely along the abandoned Georgetown Branch rail corridor.

Multiple factors led the Open Space and Trails Committee (in coordination with the Board of Selectmen and Conservation Preservation Commission (CPC)) to settle on the current design plans, which we believe are the most acheiveable and produce the greatest benefit for the Town's residents in the near-term..




When will the Groveland Community Trail be completed?


Current projections suggest a completed Groveland Community Trail in 2019. (see estimated project timeline)





When Completed

When will the Groveland Community Trail be completed?


Current projections suggest a completed Groveland Community Trail in 2019. (see estimated project timeline)




When will the Groveland Community Trail be completed?


Current projections suggest a completed Groveland Community Trail in 2019. (see estimated project timeline)




When will the Groveland Community Trail be completed?


Current projections suggest a completed Groveland Community Trail in 2019. (see estimated project timeline)




Who will maintain the Groveland Community Trail?


This particular is yet to be determined, though, maintenance of a completed Groveland Community Trail will likely include a combination of Town and volunteer support.




What hours will the Groveland Community Trail be open?


Dawn to dusk. Current design plans do not call for lighting on the trail.




Will pets be allowed?


Yes. Dogs will be allowed on the trail, though, only on-leash -- to limit any disruption to wildlife & wetland areas, and to homeowners abutting the trail. Leashes will also safeguard that all who use the trail are comfortable around those with dogs. Pet owners will, of course, be asked to clean up after their pets to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone.




Will I be able to ride my dirt bike, ATV or snowmobile on the trail?


No. Motorized recreational vehicles of any kind, in any season, will not be permitted on the Groveland Community Trail -- to respect abutters, to minimize adverse impact to the environment & wildlife, and to ensure a safe environment for everyone.




Will I be able to ride my motorized assistive device on the trail?


Yes. Motorized assistive devices (e.g., wheelchairs, scooters, adaptive bicycles) which are designed for those with physical challenges are permitted.




Will I be able to ride my skateboard on the trail?


Yes. Safe and respectful skateboarders will be welcome to enjoy the Groveland Community Trail.




Will horses be allowed?


LIkely Current design plans call for a minimun of 3 foot grass shoulders on either side of the proposed paved path.




Will the trail be plowed in the winter months?


Uncertain. This will be a question the Town asks itself when considering the final design and usage as well as the required maintenance costs. There are benefits to removing snow, and benefits for not.