On Tuesday, August 24, the Swampscott Select Board accepted a gift of $150,000 from the Friends of the Swampscott Rail Trail, a community group founded to support the ongoing design and construction of the Swampscott Rail Trail project.
The Swampscott Rail Trail is built upon a former railroad bed and is currently open and actively used by pedestrians and bicyclists from Bradlee Avenue to the Marblehead Town Line. The trail is part of the Border to Boston Trail and East Coast Greenway and when completed will ultimately run two miles from near the Swampscott Commuter Rail Station to the existing Marblehead Rail Trail. The donation from the Friends of the Swampscott Rail Trail provides important funding for additional design work and construction for the remaining portions of the trail.
A driving force behind fundraising and information-sharing, The Friends of the Swampscott Rail Trail has received many generous private donations from residents as well as local businesses. The Gelfand Family Charitable Trust has been particularly generous with the largest donation to date. The largest business sponsorship to date is a $25,000 Platinum donation from Aggregate Industries. The Friends of the Swampscott Rail Trail volunteers have also been fundraising at the Farmers Market this summer, holding bicycle sales; selling bicycle bells and stickers; and raffling off Red Sox game tickets generously donated by Cataldo Ambulance.
“We are grateful to the Friends of the Swampscott Rail Trail for their hard work and generous donation,” said Director of Economic & Community Development Marzie Galazka. “The completion of the design work is critical to achieving our construction goal and providing off-road, cross-town connection to our neighborhoods, schools, and the region.”
“This donation is such an incredible demonstration of community support for this vital project,” said Select Board Chair Peter Spellios. “We thank not just the Friends of the Rail Trail, but also Mark Gelfand, the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust and all the individuals and businesses who have generously supported their cause with enthusiasm. I am continually amazed at and grateful for Mark Gelfand and his family’s generosity to our community and his support of Swampscott.”
Additional information about the Rail Trail project can be found on the Friends of the Swampscott Rail Trail website at www.swampscottrailtrail.org and the Town of Swampscott website at www.swampscottma.gov/community-and-economic-development