Last year the issue of a serious erosion problem on the SNETT near the Midstate Trail crossing was addressed.
The Midstate Trail leading from the SNETT had also suffered from erosion over the years and had become tough to travel, with large rocks and boulders rising up from the trail.
Friends of the SNETT had planned this winter to host a trail summit in Blackstone to introduce the trail and its ongoing improvement plans to legislators and park officials, but both scheduled dates were canceled because of snowstorms.
In a 21st-century response, a "virtual trail summit" and blog was posted on the Friends of the SNETT website (www.snett.org).
The Bellingham Planning Department coordinates Friends of the SNETT, including hosting the (virtual) trail summit and working with community groups like the Trail Riders and the Franklin-Bellingham Rail Trail Committee to seek grants for trail improvements.
In October 2012, the Friends received a National Park Service technical assistance grant to create a coalition of SNETT supporters and develop an overall plan for the trail, which had previously been worked on in a piecemeal fashion.
Jean Keyes, Planning Board coordinator, who works with Town Planner Stacey Wetstein on SNETT projects, said, "One of the goals was to improve town recreation."
"The SNETT is not even listed on the DCR website and it's their property," Ms.
Keyes said that ironically, after volunteers labored in obscurity on the SNETT for years, $9.9 million for SNETT improvements was included in Gov.
Charles Tracy, Massachusetts director of conservation assistance for the National Park Service, has been providing technical support to Friends of the SNETT under the federal grant.