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* 2013 Connecticut Trails Day Weekend June 1 - Norwalk River Valley Trail Events *
The five towns implementing the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) all sponsored hikes on Saturday June 1st to mark National Trails Day and CT Trails Day Weekend.
A few hardy hikers enjoyed a beautiful Trails Day in Danbury's Tarrywile Park, which will eventually link to the NRVT:
The proposed NRVT will provide a 38-mile route (including loops) for cyclists, hikers and walkers from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Danbury. The NRVT will connect to rail stations, schools, offices, retail centers and popular attractions, offering green transportation as well as recreational opportunities. The Trails Day events allowed the public to get to know the trail, and some of those promoting it.
For general information about the NRVT, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Pat Sesto, Chairman of the NRVT project at 203-563-0180.
September 4, 2012 The First of Three Community Celebrations Launching the Next Phase of the Trail
The first of three celebrations launching the next phase in the development of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) was held on Tuesday, September 4th in the Brubeck Room of the Wilton Library. On hand were the first selectmen from Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding, as well as representatives from Alta Design, the firm that conducted the routing study.
Look for the signs and follow the trail!
June 1, 2011 Dedication of Norwalk Section Kiosk
On June 1, 2011 a beautiful new trail kiosk was dedicated in Mathews Park, Norwalk. The kiosk is the result of a collaboration between the Norwalk River Watershed Association, the NRVT, and REI Norwalk, and was designed to match the elegant Second Empire style of Lockwood-Mathews Mansion. Mathews Park is a great starting point from which to explore the already completed Norwalk section of the NRVT.
2011 Community Workshops A Great Success
The 200+ people, who attended the Trail Planning Workshops in May, 2011 rapidly discovered that the Trail route and planning details are not etched in stone (or cinder dust or tarmac for that matter). The Norwalk, Wilton, Danbury, Ridgefield and Redding Community Workshops were a great opportunity for the public to provide input on all aspects of the proposed Trail. The five towns are very different, but quite a number of shared visions and priorities for the Trail emerged - a good sign indeed. People think the Trail should:
620 and Growing: Join us and Like Us
Please help us to spread the word about the Norwalk River Valley Trail. The Trail can only be built if we have the input and support of residents in all five communities along the Trail. In addition to your concrete assistance such as donations and attendance at our events, we need your virtual support. Please tell your friends about our newsletter and encourage them to subscribe, which they can do through our website and our Facebook page. Our newsletter mailing list is now 620 strong and growing daily, a sure sign of great support for the Trail. Also, If you are on Facebook, please "like" us -- almost 200 people already do. While your "liking" us certainly makes us feel good, by doing so you greatly magnify our reach, making many more people aware of the Trail. You'll find the thumbs up "Like" button at the top of the Facebook page next to the NRVT page title. Thank you!
The almost complete Norwalk Harbor Loop Trail connects with the Norwalk River Valley Trail. When complete, it's going to provide a fun three mile walk.
Great news for the Ives Trail, which is moving toward completion. Plans call for the Ives Trail to eventually be connected to the Norwalk River Valley Trail.
Walking the Talk
National Park Service Supports River Trail
The Norwalk River Valley Steering Committee is proud to announce that once again it has been selected to receive technical assistance from the National Park Service's Rivers and Trails Program during 2012-2013. The NPS Rivers and Trails Program works with community groups and municipalities to conserve rivers, preserve open space and develop trails and greenways. Under this program, the committee will receive the technical assistance of John Monroe, an Outdoor Recreational Planner.
Mr. Monroe will advise the NRVT Steering Committee, which is comprised of local officials and volunteers, as it begins its work on a proposed 27 mile multi-use trail. The trail will connect the existing trail in Norwalk which currently ends at Union Park to the Ives Trail in Danbury eventually extending to downtown Danbury. There will be connections with existing trails along its route. Mr. Monroe has worked on trail projects in New England for 19 years and his expertise will prove invaluable as the committee begins its routing study and outreach activities.
In 2011, The NRVT Steering Committee received a federal grant of $180,000 (received via the DEP) for a routing study to define the optimal route for this trail as it passes through five towns.
The project has the endorsement of the First Selectmen of all five towns impacted by this initiative (Norwalk, Wilton, Redding, Ridgefield and Danbury) and representatives from all five towns sit on the NRVT Steering Committee. A Request for Qualifications was posted to the NRVT website for those contractors interested in applying to conduct the routing study. As the study progresses, the public will have an opportunity to provide input into the trail routing.
For more information, contact Pat Sesto, Town of Wilton Environmental Affairs, 203-563-0180 or email@example.com.
Governor Rell announces wide-ranging new initiatives to enhance bicycle, pedestrian projects
November 19, 2010
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that as part of an ongoing effort to provide a more balanced transportation network, the state is changing its policies and practices to be more supportive of bicycling and pedestrian projects – a move that will ultimately make it safer and more convenient for Connecticut residents to bike and walk.
“If we are going to have a truly ‘multi-modal’ transportation system, our focus must include bicycle and pedestrian efforts,” Governor Rell said during a news conference on a segment of the East Coast Greenway in Manchester. “As a state, we have made some progress in changing priorities to better incorporate and respond to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. However, the time has come to step up the pace. (more...)
First Grant Awarded!
By ROBERT KOCH
Hour Staff Writer
Photos by Alex von Kleydorff, Deborah Lewis
Officials gathered at Union Park in Norwalk on Monday morning to announce the award of a $180,000 federal grant which they said marks a "new beginning" for the Norwalk River Valley Trail.
The proposed 27-mile bicycle/pedestrian trail from Norwalk to Danbury currently comprises a one-mile stretch that ends at Union Park in Norwalk. Another section has been opened in Wilton, between Merwin Meadows Park and Wilton High School.
"This is the end of the trail in its current form, and from here, we're looking to go roughly 27 miles north. So that is a big task to undertake and today marks the first major step," said Patricia Sesto, director of Wilton's Department of Environmental Affairs and chairwoman of the Norwalk River Valley Trail steering committee. But first "we need a clear sense of what is logistically feasible, and what the towns and the cities want."
The federal money will be used to develop a study, which will serve as the foundation for construction of the trail northward. As part of the study, the steering committee will seek public input on design, routing and other aspects of the trail.
Sesto told The Hour Newspapers that the NRVT steering committee will issue a request for proposals seeking a firm to prepare the study. She hopes to see the study completed within 18 months.
Officials from towns along proposed trail route stood in Union Park at the edge of the current trail and in front of a banner reading "Norwalk River Valley Trail. Five Towns. One Vision."
"I think that this, again, speaks to regional cooperation to solve many of our problems," Norwalk Mayor Richard A. Moccia said. "It's an example of when big cities and small towns can work together."
Lavielle credited Sesto with leading the "mammoth task" of assembling the grant application last year within a two-week window -- a deadline was looming. She said construction of the trail has broad support.
"It's rare that you find something that has such universal support. The Norwalk River Valley Trail benefits every one of the communities," Lavielle said. "A number of families have told us they are so happy this is moving along."
Silvermine residents Lance Zimmerman and Deborah Lewis rode their bicycles to the grant announcement. They told The Hour Newspapers that they ride the trail regularly.
"One of my dreams, before my kids graduate from school, is they can safely ride their bikes to school," Lewis said.
Duff, himself a bicyclist, said he enjoys riding the trail, but not having to leave it at Union Park and ride on streets alongside vehicles. Boucher thanked the office of Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the state DEP for shepherding the grant application. Marconi said talk of the trail began many years ago. He credited those early talks and all who've helped advance the concept since. Hetherington said the trail will draw attention to the Norwalk and Silvermine rivers and other wetlands along its route.
"These rivers are really treasures," Hetherington said.