DEEP: Governor’s Greenways Council Presents 12th Annual Greenways Awards

October 24, 2011
 
Governor’s Greenways Council Presents 12th Annual Greenways Awards 
Designates Five New Connecticut Greenways
 
The Governor’s Greenways Council commends seven individuals that have made significant contributions to the promotion, development and enhancement of Greenways --linear open space in Connecticut.  Greenways in Connecticut cover thousands of acres throughout every county in the state.
 
“This year’s event took place last week on the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000 mile corridor reaching from Canada to Key West,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  “This scenic location provides a place for safe recreational activities including walking, running, biking and horseback riding and illustrates the importance of linking key linear space in Connecticut.”
 
Susan Frechette, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), the state agency that oversees greenways said, “Connecticut’s thousands of miles of recreational trails and river corridors, including greenways, provide visitors and residents alike with unique ways to travel throughout the state. The dedicated volunteers, who for years have worked tirelessly to make greenways a reality, now can recognize 67 designated greenways in Connecticut – quite an accomplishment for a small state.” 
 
Greenways 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 Council presented the following awards:
 
2011 CT Greenways Council Award Recipients
 
Representative Pam Sawyer – Legislative Award - Currently serving in her tenth term as State Representative for the 55th District that includes the towns of Andover, Bolton, Hebron, and Marlborough, Representative Sawyer has been a strong advocate for CT Greenways and multi-user recreation.  She was also the primary force behind securing funding for the Hop River State Park Trail covered bridge in Andover
 
Senator Steve Cassano – Legislative Award - Representing the residents of the 4th State Senate District towns of Bolton, Glastonbury, Manchester and Marlborough.  The Senator has been working closely with the CT Greenways Council to remedy the CT Greenways License Plate funding.  His Greenway support spans 20-30 years while wearing the Mayor of Manchester, Chairman Capitol Region Council of Governments, and other hats.
 
Former Senator Michael Meotti – Special Achievement Award - was the first legislator to bring state funding to a multi use trail.  He led the effort to provide $750,000 of state money for a trail in the Route I-384 corridor. This pre- dated the DOT’s Transportation Enhancement program. He then modified this allocation so it could be used as the non-federal portion of the federal enhancement program.  This stretched the state dollars.  He would conduct part of his campaigns via bicycle to shine some light on the need for off road bike/pedestrian trails.  He remains active as guest speaker at bike/pedestrian meetings.
 
Mr. Tom Maziarz Bureau Chief, Bureau of Policy and Planning, Connecticut Department of Transportation – Transportation Award - The Council acknowledges Tom for his leadership on the Agency’s new bike-pedestrian friendly policies.
 
Mr. Doug MacGillvary— Volunteer Award – Doug is a long time volunteer for the Manchester Land Trust.  He puts in many hours weekly performing trail work, survey, advocacy, and planning for the Hockanam River Linear Trail.
 
Mr. Tom Adamski – Oxford.  Unsung Hero Award.  Mr. Adamski is being honored for his greenway leadership and volunteerism to the Town of Oxford and surrounding towns.  He worked to purchase Oxford’s 520 acre Rockhouse Hill Preserve and later its 62 acre addition; brought parties together facilitating the state acquisition of a 40 acre addition to Southford Falls State Park; helped negotiate the purchases of 8 and 13acre properties along Oxford’s Eight Mile Brook.  He introduced and helped implement the Oxford Annual Townwide Cleanup.  He has served as the Commissioner for Oxford’s Conservation Commission and Inland Wetlands Agency for 9 years.  He assists in directing the trail construction, maintenance efforts and funding of the Oxford High School Youth Conservation Corps.  He is a volunteer trail maintainer, for the Nature Conservancy at Devils Den Preserve, Redding CT. 
 
Mr. Joseph Lenear – Oxford.  Youth Leadership Award.    Joseph has been working with students and engaging them in outdoor based activities since 1996.  Upon taking a biology position at Harding High school in Bridgeport, Mr. Lanier formed the Harding Horticulture Club in 2000 until 2007.  This club focused upon students working on various green space service based projects around Bridgeport.  He next became a board member of Groundwork Bridgeport (GWB) forming a collaborative relationship with GWB through Harding HS and developed a student mentor program called BAT (Butterfly Are Teachers) later known as the Green Team which is more of an intern program.   After taking a position at Oxford High School as a biology teacher, Mr. Lanier formed the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) modeled after GWB’s Green Team program.  The YCC focuses upon service projects in the adjacent Open Space Rockhouse Hill Sanctuary next to OHS.
 
2011 Officially Designated Greenways
 
Canterbury’s Quinebaug River Corridor – This greenway is a continuance of CT’s previously designated “Quinebaug River Multipurpose Trail” in Brooklyn/Killingly and the Trolley Trail in Plainfield.  Designation of Canterbury’s section of this greenway is felt to be the Town’s next natural step in promoting stewardship, conservation and education of Canterbury’s best natural resource.
 
Litchfield Community Greenway, Litchfield – The Litchfield Community Greenway is a part of a larger plan first proposed by the Town of Litchfield Plan of Conservation and Development, which was adopted in 2007. That plan proposes a system of walking trails linking the village centers and recreational resources of the town. The current Greenway’s focus is to develop the old Shepaug Railroad bed into a recreational trail.
 
Pomperaug River Greenway, Woodbury – Through the auspices of the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition, the Town of Woodbury has developed a Pomperaug River Greenway Plan (including the Nonnewaug and Weekeepeemee Rivers) that preserves the rivers’ environmental integrity and maximizes benefits to residents.  The newly designated greenway system protects natural resources, connects existing protected areas and provides access to the outdoors.
 
Scantic River Greenway (extension), South Windsor – This is an extension of the 2010 designation of the Scantic River Greenway in East Windsor.   It is a 2.5 mile section of the Scantic River from the East Windsor town line to the Connecticut River in South Windsor.  This section is a very important natural resource in South Windsor, encompasses some of the richest history in the region, and will expand on existing multi-use, non-motorized, trail systems and waterways. The entire Scantic River is now an Official CT Greenway.
 
Shetucket River Greenway - The Shetucket River is recognized by federal, state, local and private agencies as a valuable wildlife habitat for a rich diversity of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals.  The natural, historic and recreational resources enjoyed by communities are dependent upon the continued conservation along the river.  This designation will facilitate natural resource protection on both sides of the Shetucket River as well as increasing public recreational opportunities.  The participating communities in the Shetucket River Greenway will work to preserve the waters quality as well as the habitats within the greenway through community education and promotion of the natural, historic and recreation resources of the river corridor.