June 6, 2014
Governor’s Greenways Council Presents
15th Annual Greenways Awards
Designates Five New Connecticut Greenways
The Governor’s Greenways Council today commended nine individuals and a non-profit organization 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 along the Connecticut River Blueway at Goodwin College’s South Meadow Pavilion, East Hartford.
“Today’s event celebrates blueways – also known as ‘water trails’ which are used for recreation. Connecticut supports and encourages designated blueways and serves as a model for other states to follow,” said Susan Whalen, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP). “We are proud that Connecticut has two levels of distinction -- the Connecticut River and Watershed was designated as the nation’s first national blueway two years ago – and the distinction of having two national recreation water trails – the Willimantic and Quinebaug water trails, thanks to the Last Green Valley.”
Bruce Donald, incoming Chairman of the Greenways Council and President of the Farmington Valley Trails Council remarked, “I am pleased to be appointed to the Greenways Council and look forward to enhancing the quality of life and well-being of our residents through the development of greenways 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.
This year the Greenways Council is celebrating Blueways in Connecticut. Goodwin College is hosting this event and showcasing their campus trails along the CT River Blueway as well as celebrating their CT River Academy. The Rivers Alliance of CT showcased its newly completed Water Trails website as part of the event.
The Council presented the following awards:
2014 CT Greenways Council Award Recipients:
- Denise Horan, East Hartford Town Engineer - Unsung Hero Award - for her work on the Forbes Street to the river section of the East Coast Greenway.
- Mark Paquette; Special Recognition- his work with WinCOG included innovative use of state and federal funds to support trails and greenways in the region including a shared maintenance equipment for the Air Line State Park Trail and his nine years of work and leadership on the CT Greenways Council since 2005. As Parks and Recreation Director in Willimantic he rallied welcoming parties as the various trail users travelled Boston to D.C. along the East Coast Greenway (ECG). He was the moving force in building the section of The Hop River State Park Trail through Willimantic and was key in facilitating the construction of bridges to carry the trail which involved the National Guard, Coast Guard Academy, DEEP, ECGA, and many volunteers. He has set up counting stations to further promote trail construction. He is a trail user along with his canine companions.
- Farmington Valley Trails Council (FVTC) – Non-Profit Award – for their 22 years of leadership, volunteerism and commitment to one of Connecticut’s greatest multi-town and state rail trails. The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail extends 84 miles from New Haven into Massachusetts with only a couple of on-road diversions as a result of this organization’s work.
- Margaret Minor, CT Rivers Alliance; Lifetime Achievement Award – for her dedicated work on water quality and river corridor protection statewide. Recently developed our own CT Water Trails website, www.ctwatertrails.org
- Lon Hultgren; Transportation Award - recently retired from Department of Public Works in Mansfield, Lon has created, promoted, and built multi-use trails in Mansfield/Storrs throughout his career. He is instrumental in planning and building the multi-modal transportation facility at UCONN and is a trail user.
- Bolton’s First Selectman Bob Morra - Municipal Award - has successfully facilitated the integration of conflicting ideas as how to close the gap in the Charter Oak Greenway (East Coast Greenway) from Manchester town line to Bolton Notch.
- Steve O’Neill, PE at VHB- Engineering Award - Much of his 20 years as a consultant with VHB has involved Greenways. Currently, as consultant to CONNDOT, he is in charge of reviewing State Greenway projects. He wrote his master’s thesis on multi-use trails. He has presented multi-use trail concepts at National meetings of APWA. He is a greenway user either running or cycling. Several years ago he was recognized nationally as APWA outstanding young engineer.
- Gary Minor - Advocacy Award - as a public communications professional for Pratt and Whitney he coordinated sponsorship of the printing of the initial Charter Oak Greenway map. Recently he facilitated the pro-bono printing of the revised map. He retired from Pratt and is now a public communications professional for Goodwin College.
- Tom O'Brien - Volunteer Award - president of the New Milford River Trail Association. He has worked tirelessly in Western CT to open an important greenway corridor at the Town and regional level.
- Karyn Gilvarg: Planning Award - Director, New Haven City Plan since 1992. Karyn has overseen the design and building of the FCHT in New Haven and has dug deep to negotiate arrangements with surrounding towns to expedite its completion. She has been especially sensitive to making explicit historical origins and narratives.
2014 Officially Designated Greenways
Upper Farmington River in Canton – With this designation, the entire Farmington River in the Town of Canton is now an official Connecticut Greenway. This greenway encourages the protection of natural resources and promotes sustainable recreational uses in the corridor. The Town of Canton can be contacted for more information.
Lower Farmington River in Windsor and Bloomfield
– This was a collaborative nomination between the two towns listed and the Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA). The purpose of the designation is to promote the natural, recreational, and cultural resources of the Lower Farmington River. The goals for the Lower Farmington River Greenway are: Natural resource protection within and on both sides of the River; Encourage, enhance, and promote existing and new recreational opportunities along the River; Promote through education the inter-connections between cultural resources and the River. This greenway designation is also one of the management goals for the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Management Plan, dated June 2011. For more information contact the FRWA. frwa.org
Mill Brook Greenway in Windsor - This was a collaborative nomination between the Town of Windsor and the Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA). The purpose of the designation is to promote the natural, recreational, and cultural resources of Mill Brook. The goals for the Mill Brook Greenway are: Natural resource protection within and on both sides of the Brook; Encourage, enhance, and promote existing and new recreational opportunities along the Brook; Promote through education the inter-connections between cultural resources and the Brook; Continue and enhance collaborations with the Towns of Windsor, FRWA, and others for better coordination and planning for the Mill Brook Greenway. For more information contact the Town of Windsor.
Hanover Pond Linear Trail in Meriden
- This is an extension of the previously designated Quinnipiac River Gorge Trail and Quinnipiac River Greenway. The Hanover Pond 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 from Meriden’s Red Bridge, at the entrance of the Quinnipiac River Gorge Linear Trail, to the Orville H. Platt High School. Contact the Meriden Linear Trail Advisory Committee for more information. www.meridenlineartrail.org
Upper Connecticut River in Windsor - This was a collaborative nomination between the Town of Windsor and the Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA). The purpose of the designation is to promote the natural, recreational, and cultural resources of the Upper Connecticut River. The goals of the Upper Connecticut River Greenway are: Natural resource protection on the west side of the Connecticut River within Windsor; Encourage, enhance, and promote existing and new recreational opportunities along the River; Promote through education the inter-connections between cultural resources and the River. For more information contact the Town of Windsor.