June 1, 2012
Governor’s Greenways Council Presents 13th Annual Greenways Awards
Designates Five New Connecticut Greenways
The Governor’s Greenways Council today commended six individuals that have made significant contributions to the promotion, development and enhancement of Greenways – linear open space in Connecticut – and designated five new greenways at a ceremony this morning at the Firehouse on the Steele Brook Greenway in Watertown.
Susan Frechette, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) said, “Connecticut’s countryside is made up of thousands of miles of recreational trails and river corridors, including greenways that provide users with creative and unique ways to travel. By land, by waterway --- on foot or on bicycles -- Connecticut provides something for everyone in the great outdoors. Today’s ceremony recognized a selection of dedicated and passionate volunteers, who for years have supported and worked to make greenways in their communities a reality.”
“This year’s event took place on the Steele Brook Greenway; A Connecticut Designated (2009) Greenway in Watertown,” said Mark N. Paquette, Chairman of the Connecticut Greenways Council. “This scenic location provides a place for safe recreational activities including walking, running, cross country skiing and wildlife viewing and illustrates the importance of linking key linear space in Connecticut.”
Greenways in Connecticut cover thousands of acres throughout every county in the state and may include paved or unpaved trail systems, ridgelines, or linked parcels of open space. Many other communities around Connecticut have chosen, through greenway designation, to recognize the importance of river corridors for natural resource protection, recreational opportunities, and scenic values.
The Steele Brook Greenway is a tributary to the Naugatuck River and is part of the National Parks Service America’s Great Outdoors Initiative in Connecticut. America’s Great Outdoors Initiative is designed to reconnect Americans, especially children, to America’s greenways, rivers and waterways, landscapes of national significance, farms, forests, parks, and beaches by promoting community-based recreation and conservation.
The Council presented the following awards:
2012 CT Greenways Council Award Recipients
Roseanne Gottier – special achievement award. Roseanne helped establish Conserving Tolland—a land preservation group that has saved more than 1000 acres in Tolland. The work done in Tolland has motivated other towns to promote their conservation efforts.
Bryan Hurlburt – state government achievement award. State Representative (D), serving the 53rd District (Ashford, Tolland and Willington) and lifelong resident of Tolland is being recognized for his contributions to open space and greenways in Tolland County.
Kate Rattan – transportation achievement award. Kate is the Non-Motorized Transportation Coordinator and Transportation Planner II, within the Bureau of Policy and Planning, at Connecticut DOT. Kate has brought a renewed enthusiasm to CT Greenways in support of her Agency’s new bicycle and pedestrian policies.
Mark Carlino – government achievement award. Mark is being recognized for his contributions to greenways serving as Manchester’s Director of Public Works.
Bruce Dinne – municipal achievement award. Bruce is Vernon’s Park and Recreation Director and has led both town and regional trail planning efforts. Bruce continues to develop and improve Vernon’s trail system.
Eric Weiss – nonprofit achievement award. Eric is the Trail Program Coordinator for the East Coast Greenway (ECG) Alliance. Eric has been an enthusiastic leader in closing the gaps in the ECG through Connecticut.
2012 Officially Designated Greenways
The Menunketesuck - Cockaponset Regional (MCR) Greenway
- The MCR Greenway’s purpose is to protect the private and working forest land, water quality and quantity, wildlife habitat, public recreation, and scenic resources that create the character and economic vitality of the lower Connecticut River and Coastal Region. The quality of their community character and environment is important to each of the participating communities of Westbrook, Clinton, Deep River, Killingworth, Chester, and Haddam. For more information contact Margot Burns
at the CT River Estuary Regional Planning Agency.
The Menunketesuck Greenway
- This greenway in Westbrook connects the Menunketesuck-Cockaponsett Regional Greenway (detailed above), to Long Island Sound. Within the Menunketesuck Greenway, over 1500 acres are currently preserved as open space in the towns of Westbrook and Clinton. The Greenway includes the Kirtland Landing Boat Launch at the head of the Menunketesuck River and extends through the Stewart McKinney Wildlife Refuge providing access to Long Island Sound. For more information contact Meg Parulis, Westbrook Town Planner
Pomperaug River Greenway, Southbury
- The Pomperaug River is an artery of vital significance to the people of Southbury, and is a connecting force within the multi-town watershed region. Named for the sachem of the Paugusset Indian tribe that lived along its banks, it has been the center for historical development of our modern communities. The progression of mills, factories, and farms transitioning more recently to modern businesses, schools, parks and residential areas, have centered on and benefitted from the river and its underlying aquifer. In particular, today the most significant local and regional supply of drinking water resides along the banks of the Pomperaug in Southbury. For more information, visit The Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition's website
The Quinnipiac River Gorge Trail
- Construction of the 1.3 mile linear trail alongside the Quinnipiac River in the City of Meriden was completed in 2007. The Gorge Trail is a ten-foot wide asphalt multi-use trail with the use of motorized vehicles prohibited. The paved trail has been constructed to adhere to A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements for handicapped accessibility. The trail sits on the railroad bed of the Meriden, Waterbury & Connecticut River Railroad (circa 1890’s) and provides scenic viewing areas along the Quinnipiac River. The City of Meriden and the Inland Fisheries Division of the CT DEEP entered into a cooperative effort to enhance habitat in the Quinnipiac River. These enhancements involved the construction of two rock vanes along the Quinnipiac River bank. These structures create thermal refuges, which are critical for trout during the summer months when river water increases above optimum temperatures for their survival. For more information visit The City's website
Shetucket River Greenway Extension - Lisbon, Preston and Norwich. The Shetucket River is a 25 mile tributary of the Thames River. It flows through the towns of Windham, Franklin, Scotland, Sprague, (section designated by the CT Greenways Council in 2011) Lisbon, Preston and Norwich ending at historic Chelsea Harbor in the City of Norwich where it joins the Thames. The goals of the Shetucket River Greenway extension are three-fold:
- increasing public recreational opportunities,
- protecting valuable natural resources, and
- developing a unified, regional approach for this resource.