Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) applauded the awarding of a $180,000 federal grant for the Norwalk River Valley Trail as an important investment in a project that, when completed, will make the natural beauty of area communities more accessible to walkers and bikers.
Senator Boucher made her remarks during a press conference called earlier this week by the steering committee of the Norwalk River Valley Trail at Union Park in Norwalk. In addition to Senator Boucher, those attending the press conference to announce the grant included elected officials from communities located along the proposed trail, area state legislators, and volunteers working on the greenway project. The funding will be used to conduct a routing study for the trail, including soliciting input from the public, regional planning organizations, municipal officials, businesses and other interested parties.
“Parts of this trail already exist, and this grant will help advance our efforts to complete it in a manner that links all of our communities in a way that benefits them and, really, the entire region. This has been a dream in the making since the 1990s. What is particularly beneficial is that in building this trail a deal of consideration was given to the needs and desires of the people who live here and compliments ongoing efforts to upgrade and improve transportation and mass transit in our part of the state,” said Senator Boucher, ranking member of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee.
Senator Boucher credited the leadership of Pat Sesto, Director of Environmental Affairs for Town of Wilton and Chair of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, for applying for the federal grant on behalf of the steering committee of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, which includes members representing Norwalk, Wilton, Ridgefield, Redding and Danbury. She also thanked the Governor and the DEP for interest in the project and their assistance in guiding the grant request through the federal process.
Ultimately, the proposed trail would stretch for approximately 27 miles and, where possible, incorporate existing trails in Norwalk, Ridgefield and Wilton, along with new segments in Redding. The first continuous mile of the trail, beginning at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, has been completed.
“Working together for the greater good of our region has gotten us this far and, I am certain, will help us see the Norwalk River Valley Trail through to completion. The many volunteers dedicated to building this trail, along with the municipal officials, legislators, and others who continue to work so hard on this project are to commended,” said Senator Boucher.