NRVT announces 2016 objectives, including Redding

 

A-spring-hike-along-the-route-of-Norwalks-Missing-Link.JPG

A spring hike along the ‘missing link’ portion of the Norwalk River Valley Trail that could one day connect two existing Norwalk trails.

The Norwalk River Valley Trail announce its principal objectives for 2016 last week. The new objectives “follow a very successful 2015, when the support and generosity of our local communities allowed us to make significant strides toward achieving our long-term vision,” a press release said.

The trail one-day plans to run from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Rogers Park in Danbury — passing through Redding for a portion of the trail.

Redding objectives

A Redding NRVT team is targeting construction of a one-mile trail between Picketts Ridge and Fire Hill roads. Plans for the trail were presented to the Redding Board of Selectmen in October, and were well received. We hope to raise as soon as possible the $264,000 needed to build the trail and permit construction plans to be firmed up.

Wilton Objectives

East-Side Loop: Building on the construction of an additional 0.5 miles of east-side Loop in 2015, we hope to extend the trail in 2016 up to Skunk Lane in Wilton. The project involves a 300-foot boardwalk across wetlands, and a half-mile of new trail. We would like to begin work on the boardwalk over the winter. The community has given generously to the NRVT — from major corporate donors to gifts from children — and we hope that this spirit will raise the $350,000 needed to extend the trail to Skunk Lane. A supporter has already made a challenge grant of $55,000 to stimulate further contributions.

New parking on Autumn Ridge: An additional, discrete project on the east side is construction of a small trailhead parking lot on Autumn Ridge Drive, where residents have patiently tolerated the street parking caused by the NRVT’s popularity. The lot will be an NRVT-Town of Wilton partnership, and may be started this winter.

West-Side Loop: We aim to connect the east-side trailhead on Route 7 to Wilton Center via blazed sidewalks and bike lanes/shared road along Wolfpit Road, Horseshoe Road (west of the pond), and River Road. The project will involve building 600 feet of trail along the wooded south side of Horseshoe Pond. This trail will be another NRVT-Town of Wilton partnership, and may be started this winter. In Wilton Center, it is planned to route the NRVT through scenic Schenck’s Island.

Norwalk Objectives

Grist Mill Road, Norwalk, to Wolfpit Road, Wilton: The State has offered a $1.2 million grant toward construction of this two-town section, funds that may not be transferred to other NRVT projects. The NRVT will need to match 20% of the grant. The likelihood of having to cross the Metro-North tracks on this section may present an engineering challenge The next step toward realizing this golden opportunity to link the Norwalk and Wilton trails is for the City of Norwalk and Town of Wilton to define how they will work together to meet the terms of the grant.

The “Missing Link”: We will continue to advocate for early construction of trail to link the two existing stretches of NRVT in Norwalk. Filling this missing link between Union Square and New Canaan Avenue will create 2.5 miles of trail from the Maritime Aquarium to Broad Street. Publically funded design and survey work is underway, and a public review of plans is expected in the spring.

“As we set these goals for 2016, we recognize that our ambition is only possible because of the support we have received in recent years,” a press release says. “We thank the individuals, foundations, community organizations, and corporations that have enabled us to come as far as we have in building the trail, with it priceless recreational opportunities for our communities. Our vision remains to build 38 miles of multi-purpose trail connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Rogers Park in Danbury.”

For those interested in contributing to the NRVT, tax-deductible contributions may be sent to “The Friends of the NRVT,” P.O. Box 174, Georgetown, CT 06829, or made via the Donate button on our website — www.nrvt-trail.com.

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