Work To Begin To Open McHale Property To Walkers, Runners

The town's recent grant award of $200,000 will go toward building an access road to the property south of EGHS.

The Town of East Greenwich has moved one step closer to opening up the McHale property — just south of the high school — to recreation. The state recently announced it was awarding a $200,000 grant to be used to build a road into the property.

That money will be added to the approximately $900,000 still available from the fields project. Initially, the plan had been to add as many as six ball fields on McHale. Not only did the money for the project not extend that far, but there was also a question of access. The only way in and out of the property was from Avenger Drive.

Now, the thought is to build an access road into the property by extending the road into McHale that now dead ends just past the JV baseball field, and to build trails that could be used for walking or running.

Joe Duarte and Cathy Bradley, Public Works and Parks & Rec directors respectively, will work together on the project. The first step will be to hire someone to draw up plans and help with Department of Environmental Management wetlands permitting. The road will need to bridge at least one stream.

According to Duarte, getting a permit from DEM could take a year.

The plan is to construct one to two miles of trails. Cross country coach Peter Dion and some of his runners helped make the appeal to the Town Council last fall to approve the grant application. EGHS has used Goddard Park for many meets, but the addition of running trails at McHale could provide a home venue for meets.

Tucker Henry April 17, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Brilliant! Almost 4 years into Rhode Island's recession and the town of EG is going to blow $1.1 million on a trail through the woods? We need immediate consolidation of EG's DPW, Parks and Rec, and other such groups that have so much free time, and free taxpayers money on their hands, that they propose taking on a project like this. Let's begin merging these departments with the town of North Kingstown.


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