Build Lebanon Trails has completed Phase One of its Bench Project—the installation of 25 benches along Lebanon trails, so that walkers and bikers can sit and enjoy the view or just take a little rest.
The project began in 2015. The group wanted “a bench design that was both durable and comfortable and could be standardized across most of Lebanon’s trail system,” says Dr. Thad Nelson, BLT’s secretary. “After considerable research we learned that benches that met our need cost between $1,200 and $2,000 dollars, not including substantial shipping charges and the cost of putting in a 6-by-9-foot concrete pad. Eventually we decided to design our own bench. In the end, two donors partnered to have 25 of the benches manufactured and delivered to us free of charge.”
Following the anonymous donors’ suggestion, the BLT board began soliciting sponsorships for the benches. The money raised would be dedicated to developing new trails. Over the next four years, bench sponsors have contributed more than $20,000 for Lebanon’s trail system. The 25 benches include eleven installed on the Northside Community Trail (consisting of the Dr. Thad Nelson Trail, Had Irvine Park, and the Marks Slough Trail), nine at Cheadle Lake, and three at Riverview Park.
The Lebanon Rotary Club, the city’s maintenance department, and Briese Custom Concrete all assisted with the installation of the concrete pads.
Phase Two of the Bench Project has already begun: Last fall 20 more benches were donated and delivered to BLT. They will be used on trails currently under development “as well as others that should be coming on line in the next few years,” says Dr. Nelson. In 2021, the group anticipates installing eight benches on the Old Mill Trail, which will connect Gill’s Landing to Riverview Park. Two benches may be added along the existing trail in River Park. Two more will probably be added on the Southshore Trail, which will connect the existing Northshore Trail at Cheadle Lake to the soccer fields near the lake.
Are you, your business, or your nonprofit organization interested in sponsoring a commemorative bench? See our Donation page for information.