WOBURN, January 25, 2013 – After extensive planning, Middlesex Canal Commission (MCC) is prepared to begin restoration of the Middlesex Canal in Woburn. Depending on weather conditions, construction will commence sometime between January and April 2013.
Completed in 1803 as a 27-mile waterway connecting Lowell to Charlestown, the Middlesex Canal now exists as 19 surviving segments, ranging from open water to overgrown rights of way. MCC has created a five-phase master plan to reclaim and restore portions of the canal, which has been described as the state’s first super-highway.
In 2012, Woburn-based Cummings Foundation awarded MCC a $100,000 grant to fund the restoration of “Segment Five” of the project, situated adjacent to the Baldwin Mansion, 1790 House, and Woburn's Kiwanis Park.
“Thanks to Cummings Foundation’s support, the Woburn segment will be the first portion of the canal restored for public use,” noted Middlesex Canal Commission chairperson Thomas Raphael.
MCC plans to convert the towpath into a walking path and later, the abandoned railroad bed into a bike and skate path. Additionally, if approved by the City, the Commission will create an “English Garden” at Kiwanis Park, reminiscent of the original landscape.
According to Raphael, “Everything is right on schedule, and we hope to complete Segment Five by summer 2013, offering the residents and visitors of Woburn more than 10 acres of land for outdoor recreation.”
Joel Swets, executive director of Cummings Foundation, said, “Cummings Properties, the Foundation’s for-profit affiliate, has been part of the Woburn community for decades. We are delighted to support this project that will provide a new venue for everyone to enjoy.”
MCC’s Segment Five Concept Study is available at www.middlesexcanal.org/commission.
Cummings Foundation is current accepting Letters of Inquiry for $10 million in local area grants to be awarded in 2013. More information about the Foundation and its grants program may be found at www.CummingsFoundation.org.