Last Sunday, Aug. 22, nearly 100 people gathered at the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail trailhead in Johnson to celebrate the new Ted Alexander Welcome Center.

Alexander loved the rail trail and his Johnson home and friends, so in his memory his family generously donated money to expand and improve the Johnson welcome center and surrounding landscape.

The new building replicates a Lamoille Valley Railroad coach car from the 1930s. There are picnic tables on the inside that offer a spectacular view of the park and surrounding mountains. When people sit at the tables they look like passengers on the train.

The project came together with the combined efforts of many community members.

The Johnson Recreation Department hosted a craft table featuring bike crafts while the historical society fed everyone a lunch.

In addition to all the community members on hand, Alexander’s family traveled from all over the U.S. and Canada to be at the event.

“It was a lovely opportunity for many of them to reunite after being separated for over a year, due to the pandemic,” said Lisa Crews, Johnson’s recreation coordinator.

This new Ted Alexander Welcome Center is just off the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail in Old Mill Park, home of the Johnson athletic fields. It is the town’s main trailhead and is about half mile to downtown.

Eventually, the building will get electricity, a bike repair station, a handicap parking area, signs and easier walking access.

If you would like more information about this project, contact tojrecreation@townofjohnson.com.

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