Fundraising to build a rail trail between Townsend and Groton is almost complete, thanks to two recent grants.

Squannacook Greenways received $15,000 from the Community Foundation of Central Massachusetts in June and $10,000 from the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation in July.

This is the second $10,000 grant for the trail from the foundation established by Anderson's brothers and sisters to support the causes he championed.

Construction of the 3.7-mile, stone dust trail could begin as early as this fall, said treasurer Bill Rideout. Permitting at the state level is underway. Once that is complete it will be time to approach the Conservation Commission in both towns.

The nonprofit has $117,000 in capital and has a goal of raising $150,000.

As soon as the permitting is complete, Squannacook Greenways will start contacting contractors.

They are planning a matching membership drive and will focus on granite pillar donors.

An earlier buy-a-brick campaign brought $20,000 into the coffers, Rideout said. The bricks will be installed under kiosks at both ends of the trail: on Depot Street in Townsend and near Bertozzi Wildlife Management Area in Groton.

The trail follows the Peterborough and Shirley Railroad bed running beside the Squannacook River.

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