Support for LD1141
Directing the Department of Transportation To Construct the Merrymeeting Trail from Topsham to Gardiner
Testimony of [name]
[name of organization, if applicable]
[street address, if applicable]
[city, state, zipcode, if applicable]
Senator Diamond, Representative McLean, and Members of the Committee on Transportation:
My name is [name], from [name of town, if applicable], and I am the [title, if applicable] for the [organization name, if applicable]. Our organization [or I] enthusiastically supports LD1141.
[Insert information about your organization's mission, goals, and relevance to the community, if applicable]
We [or I am] are excited to support this bill that would initiate the state’s process to construct the Merrymeeting Trail, an active transportation and recreation route that would connect the Capital to the Coast. The passage of this bill would mark a critical step forward in making the Merrymeeting Trail a reality, linking our communities and bringing economic, quality of life, health, and environmental benefits to the region.
The Merrymeeting Trail would not only link the very popular Kennebec River Rail Trail in Augusta and the Androscoggin River Bicycle and Pedestrian in Brunswick, it would also become part of the East Coast Greenway (ECG), a developing 3,000-mile traffic-separated bicycling and walking path connecting communities from Maine to Florida. The ECG has proven to bring substantial benefits to communities it passes through, along with the overall outdoor recreation economy which brings $8.2 billion in consumer spending annually to Maine (Outdoor Industry Association, 2017). The Merrymeeting Trail will not only increase tourism to the region, but it will serve as a tool to attract new businesses, employees, and residents as well.
Over the past ten years, the Merrymeeting Trail Committee has been meeting regularly to plan and advocate for the trail. The project has been endorsed by a wide variety of organizations whose missions include public health, recreation, land conservation, economic development, arts, safety, and the abutting towns have even created a Board of Supervisors for the facility. We [or I am] are adding our name to a growing chorus of organizations and individuals who want to bring this trail to fruition for our communities and the state as a whole.
We believe that constructing the Merrymeeting Trail will have long-lasting and meaningful impacts on the future of the region. We urge the committee to pass LD1141.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify,