Balancing recreation opportunities in Gorham focus of community conversation Wednesday

Balancing recreation opportunities in Gorham focus of community conversation Wednesday evening.

Titled “Gorham: A Trail for Everyone,” the session seeks to bring townspeople together to discuss how to balance and managing the growing use and diverse opportunities for outdoor recreation in the town.

Gorham has long been identified with hiking and snowmobiling. But in recent years, ATV use has grown in popularity as has mountain biking.

A public hearing in Gorham this summer on allowing ATV access for Jimtown residents and ultimately ruling against a petition to close Mechanic Street to ATVs attracted a large crowd. Residents at the meeting, however, also spoke about noise and traffic concerns and ATV riders utilizing roads not open to ATVs.

Using a small-group format, residents are asked to share ideas and listen to others with all views welcome and respected.

"This event welcomes area residents and stakeholders to come talk with each other about their own perspectives and views for the future of recreation and trails in the region. North Country Listens hosts community conversations for the purpose of bringing people together to address an issue with locally-informed ideas. People have differing views, and the process is more about finding common ground and constructive conversation, than about creating consensus or changing minds. This is an opportunity to talk with neighbors and provide input on a topic that is on many minds right now in the region,” said Courtney Wrigley, project coordinator for North Country Listens.

The community conversation will be held at the Gorham Middle High School from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The doors will open at 5 p.m. and childcare is available. A free light dinner will be provided.

While walk-ins are welcome people are encouraged to pre-register at www.northcountrylistens.org/events.