FVTC Memorial BenchesPublished Date: 4/30/2016
Memorial benches began to appear along the rail trail as early as 1996. The earliest benches were constructed by St. Pierre Lumber on Lovely Street in Canton, CT. In 2001, Jerry Mullen of Wm R. Hartigan & Sons in Burlington, CT, constructed the benches for FVTC. He has continued to be our sole provider of benches and also constructs the kiosks found on many locations along the rail trail.
Most of the towns along the trail have siting requirements to prevent trail obstructions, limit the number of benches, and obtain necessary approvals in wetland and other restricted areas. We recommend that benches be spaced at least a quarter mile apart except when groupings make practical and aesthetic sense. Parties wishing to make a bench donation should select several possible locations and then coordinate the final siting with of the FVTC town coordinators, who will work with with the local public works department and facilitate any specific town siting requirements.
The FVTC has an approved design that has been used for many years along the nearly 40 miles of trail in our region. The benches are procured as a result of a $1250 donation made to FVTC, as non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Depending on the availability of materials and the number of pending orders, the benches are typically ready for installation in 4-6 weeks from receipt of the donation check. Once the bench has been constructed the various town public works crews pick up and install the benches in the designated spots.
The main structure of the benches consists of 6x8 inch pressure treated timbers. The vertical members are embedded 4 feet deep in the ground. The back and seat are 2x10 inch pressure treated lumber. A 4x4 supports the back and seat planks.
FVTC provides a dedication plaque, which can be installed on either the front or back of the backrest. The plaques are 4 by 8 inches, made of zinc with bronze plating, and have the FVTC logo along with 2-3 lines for the dedication. Plaques require 3-4 weeks to procure and are installed after the bench has been placed along the trail. Sample dedications are provided to anyone wishing to have a bench sited along the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (FCHT), which follows the East Coast Greenway corridor, or the Farmington River Trail, which extends westward in Collinsville and then returns eastward to the FCHT in Simsbury, CT.
If you would like to sponsor a memorial bench, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and name the trail section you are interested in.