Newsletters2021-08-04T20:35:32+00:00
FCRTTA Annual Newsletter – 20212021-12-05T14:11:45+00:00

Dear Friends,

I took great inspiration this year from how you dedicated yourselves in these unpredictable times. You demonstrated care for one another and the trail in so many ways. Each one of you is essential as we confront challenges, craft novel solutions, and leverage our power to complete the trail and ensure it continues to be a restorative resource for us all.

Read the entire newsletter here.

Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter November 20212021-11-09T18:02:35+00:00

President’s Letter

Just when we thought things might return to “normal” (or at least the pre- Covid-19 normal), the Delta variant arrived to make us rethink masks, handwashing, and spending as much time as possible outdoors.

The Farmington Canal Heritage Trail is one of the many great places in Connecticut to spend that outdoor time. The Farmington Valley Trails Council was created 40+ years ago to create a space for cyclists and walkers to be safe from cars and enjoy the fresh air and exercise.

Read the complete newsletter here.

Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter April 20212021-10-19T16:00:46+00:00

President’s Letter:

Trail Usage Boosted in 2020; Support FVTC Through Membership

In one way, 2020 was a very good year: many people were introduced to the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (FCHT). The FCHT runs nearly continuously from New Haven to the Massachusetts border. One day soon, its northern endpoint will be Northampton, Mass. More than 40 years ago, Farmington Valley Trails Council (FVTC) founder Preston Reed envisioned our trail and the value it would provide to everyone.

Read the entire newsletter here.

FCRTTA Annual Newsletter – 20202021-10-09T00:07:55+00:00

Dear Friends,

You have no doubt noticed that the trail has become an even more frequented place than usual this year. It’s a place of refuge, the go‐to local place where we set aside our anguish and find some respite from these troubled times. The CT Trail Census confirms that visits to the trail have surged this year, more than doubling in some towns, and exceeding 100,000 in New Haven alone.

Read the entire newsletter here.

Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter March 20202021-08-10T19:27:48+00:00

President’s Letter:

Trail Events Planned in 2020; Some Events Canceled Due to Coronavirus

I certainly hope you have enjoyed this incredibly mild winter and have continued to use the trail on a regular basis. Spring is just about here and so once again we will be asking you to renew your membership.

Our Bike Expo on using the trail safely scheduled for March 21 at the Farmington Library has been canceled due to the coronavirus. Likewise we have had to cancel our Annual Cleanup Day that had been scheduled for April 18. These are important to help us maintain and improve the trail for the use of all, but we will adapt and work in other creative ways to protect and enjoy the trail.

Read the entire newsletter here.

FCRTTA Annual Newsletter – 20192021-10-08T23:42:13+00:00

Message from the President, FCRTTA

Dear Friends, The trail is yours. Yours to stroll, run, bike, and scoot. Yours to enjoy. And yours to steward. The trail needs your support to give you what you need: peace and restoration, and a long green ribbon where you can get away from car and truck traffic. Your gift to FCRTTA will help guarantee the trail remains yours to find what you need…

Read the entire newsletter here.

Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter March 20192021-08-10T19:25:04+00:00

President’s Letter: Members Make a Difference

The Farmington Valley Trails Council was formed over 30 years ago by the late Preston Reed because he had a dream to create a space where bikers and walkers could enjoy the outdoors without the worry of cars. Although the dream was always to get a trail from New Haven to the Massachusetts border and beyond, it often felt like FVTC would be lucky to get a trail from Farmington to Simsbury.

Read the entire newsletter here.

Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association Annual Newsletter, 20182021-08-10T19:23:42+00:00

Your support of the trail has propelled us toward important victories in 2018, including:

  • The completion of the trail through Cheshire, creating a marathon-length continuous ribbon of off-road greenway from New Haven to Southington.
  • A bright and vibrant mural on the trail at the Hamden-New Haven border celebrating women’s empowerment and affirming the creation of an arts corridor in this section of the greenway.
  • A well-attended “Ride the State” event in June with CONNDOT Commissioner James Redeker.
    Breaking ground for construction of water access directly on the trail to support plantings in a bird conservation corridor in Newhallville, New Haven.

But we need to do so much more. Your gift to FCRTTA will:

  • Establish a signed route through Plainville, the last significant gap in the trail in Connecticut.
  • Push New Haven to finally build the last section of the trail down to its terminus at the Canal Dock Boat House on the Long Island Sound.
  • Enhance the trail through more art, signage and other infrastructure like kiosks, water fountains and repair stations.

Please read details about updates in the more detailed PDF, and help maintain and improve the 45 trail miles now built with a contribution today!

Click here to view entire Newsletter

Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter October 20182021-08-10T19:19:43+00:00

President’s Letter

As you may have read or seen on the news, Travelers and our Department of Transportation sponsored a seminar on distracted driving. I was lucky enough to have received an invitation to attend. It was sobering to learn that the annual number of drivers, cyclists and pedestrian deaths are on the rise after years of decline. It appears that the main reason is distracted drivers, riders and walkers. (Yes, folks who walk and stare at their phones have a tendency to walk into traffic without looking.)

Read the entire newsletter here.

Trail news from New Haven to Plainville, Fall 20172021-08-10T19:18:25+00:00

Trail time is now!

2017 was a tremendous year for progress on closing the remaining gaps in our trail, in Cheshire especially.

In New Haven, the Friends of the Trail and the Newhallville Learning Corridor rolled out many events and brought new assets to the trail, including a fleet of bikes.

Plenty more news, and pictures that are better than a thousand words, in the attached PDF of our annual fall newsletter.

Check it out and please support this popular resource that continues to grow. The newsletter is our once-a-year appeal, we appreciate your generosity.

Click here to view entire Newsletter

Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter August 20172021-08-10T19:15:45+00:00

President’s Letter

Summer is here and there’s no better time to ride (or for those who ride year-round time to shed all those extra layers of clothing), walk, and skate on the trail. I am honored to be the newest president of the Farmington Valley Trails Council, and humbled by all the work of those who came before me. Although there are many new parts of the trail and more sections still to be created, much of the trail is close to 25 years old and those parts are showing their age and need repairs and upkeep.

Read the entire newsletter here.

FCRTTA Newsletter – Fall 20162021-08-10T19:14:09+00:00

Dear Friends,

Do you know you make magic happen every day?

You create the reality of a ribbon for walking, biking, running, blading, strolling and simply getting away from the ubiquity of the car culture. That’s magical. I’m proud that the remaining gaps in our trail continue to shrink.

The final four miles of the Cheshire section on the north end of town have officially opened. That means you can run a marathon entirely on the trail from New Haven to Southington – there is more than 26.2 miles of gap-free greenway to enjoy now in southern CT.

We are just one of many partners supporting what has become a diverse and inclusive focal point for community action at many levels.

The trail is a place you can walk into art. In New Haven, a mural celebrating the trail was unveiled this fall.

The trail is a place you can walk into nature. An energetic partnership led by the New Haven Friends of the Trail received a grant from the Audubon Society and the Fish and Wildlife Service to create a corridor of native plant species to create a natural oasis for migrating birds and butterflies.

The trail is a place you can meet new friends and neighbors. This spring and summer, I attended clean-ups sponsored by businesses and residents in Hamden, and pancake breakfasts held on the trail organized by local church groups in New Haven.

With your help we can conjure up some more magic. Please join us by making as generous a donation as you can.

Sincerely,

Lisa Fernandez, President

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Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter May 20162021-08-10T19:11:43+00:00

President’s Letter

April’s Clean-Up Day was a great success. About 200 volunteers manned 5 collection areas, picked up trash, cleaned the trails, and identified problems and areas of concern for 38 miles in 8 towns. On behalf of our Board of Directors I thank coordinator Susan Mitchell and all for a great job. We had a great barbeque at Flamig Farms afterward, (thanks to Larry Linonis & crew) and I was surprised by Rep. John Hampton, (16th Dist.) with an “Official Citation” from the CT General Assembly, which thanked me for my years of service with the FVTC, and for my “tireless efforts to close the gaps” in the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (FCHT), Farmington River Trail and East Coast Greenway. It was sponsored by 11 Senators and Representatives. In my remarks I noted that while deeply honored, there have been many advocates before me and some in the audience that have been at this for much longer than I. This is a team effort, and one that I am proud to be a vocal part of.

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FCRTTA Newsletter – December 20152021-08-10T19:10:08+00:00

Got greenway? Read on for the trail mix this year!

Click here to view the entire FCRTTA newsletter.

Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter June 20152021-08-11T16:01:48+00:00

President’s Letter

Spring came and went! But during that period we had another successful Clean-Up Day on April 12th, were a sponsor of the Kevin Adorno Memorial Ride in April, had a great turn out for our Ride the Loop event, and a very successful National Trails Day Ride on the 6th. We have had multiple trailside tables set up and pitched the new FVTC tent at a variety of events. We will continue to have a ride a month – keep an eye on the “events” section of www.fvgreenway.org. Thanks as always to all of our great volunteers who make these things happen.

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Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter September 20142021-10-11T13:23:28+00:00

President’s Letter

Please join us at our 2014 Annual Meeting at the Avon Senior Center. It will be held on Friday, November 14th at 7:00 pm. We will have my recap of the year’s events and an entertaining speaker along with refreshments.

We mourned the passing of our founder, Preston Reed and set in motion the chain of events that recently culminated in the naming of the Farmington River Bridge on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail as the “Preston T. Reed Memorial Bridge”. Please see the accompanying article below.

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Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter May 20142021-08-10T19:06:18+00:00

President’s Letter

Happy spring! We had a successful Clean-Up Day on April 6th. Kudos to Diana Moody who ran the event again, along with over 160 volunteers who picked up about 10 yards of trash on a glorious day. Stop ‘n Shop provided volunteers and products for the great barbeque held at Flamig Farm. Thanks everyone!

The Maintenance Fund has already made a $2,000 matching grant to the Town of Avon for replacement fencing, and the water fountain that we installed at Sperry Park has been repainted by the Town and the Avon Water Company is fixing the buttons. We expect matching grant requests from Farmington and Simsbury soon to continue fencing re- pairs. As we have in the past, we are helping an expanded Simsbury Free Bike with a substantial grant of $1,750.

I‟m sure that all of you will be pleased that the River Trail in Burlington will be re-paved soon. The project is a complete re-construction and CT DOT has bumped the price to around $830,000. The money has been found and we await the RFP this spring with the help of the Central CT Regional Planning Authority. Expect the trail to be closed for at least three months at some point this year. In the mean time we have put up a warning on fvgreenway.org to be extremely careful or actually avoid that area entirely by using the wide shoulder on Route 4.

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Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter July 20132021-08-10T19:04:59+00:00

President’s Letter

On June 19th two dozen riders including Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Dan Esty met near the plaque commemorating bicycle inventor Pierre Allemande at Chapel and Church Street in downtown New Haven. They pedaled away with the intent of highlighting both the successes and the remaining gaps in the Farming- ton Canal Heritage Trail. I personally think it was the single best day for public relations that the FVTC has had. Channel 8 News was there filming and getting interviews for that evening’s news, and we got a lot of great press, not the least from Tom Condon of the Hartford Courant, who did the ride and wrote on July 3rd: “Let’s Close the Gaps in the Canal Trail”. Thanks Tom.The whole thing was also being filmed for a college project. We held press conferences in Cheshire and Plainville with Dan’s wife U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty showing up in their hometown of Cheshire telling the story of how their daughter learned how to ride on the trail. She’s genuinely interested in completing the trails and highlighting them at the national level. Arnett Talbot from the Town wel- comed us and reminded us that Cheshire was one of the first towns to build a section of trail, and the subsequent ups and downs of trying to finish it. Commissioner Esty himself was an earnest speaker on marshalling forces to close these two remaining gaps.

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Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter March 20132021-10-11T13:24:43+00:00

President’s Letter

With spring on the horizon, I write of just a few of the many initiatives either underway or brewing here at the FVTC. Firstly, to finish off 2012, our $7,500 matching grant to Farmington for fencing repair was used in the late fall to great effect on the Canal Heritage Trail. We also granted $3,000 to Bike/Walk CT to help them with their lobbying (on behalf of our trail system) and educational efforts.

For 2013, it is critical that Burlington repaves their section of the River Trail. They have most of the money needed and await ConnDOT and Town approvals as well as designs for root abatement and shoulder clearing. We stand ready to help the town if covering the inevitable shortfall in funding is needed. Also critical is the Canal Heritage Trail south in Farmington (underway at the Town level). In Plainville, it is five years and counting for the state to buy the right of way into the Town Center. With that uncer-tainty, the part of trail slated for Norton Park will be focused on instead to provide the Town with its first piece of multi-use trail to showcase things to come

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Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter October 20122021-08-10T19:02:23+00:00

President’s Letter

Fall has come to the Farmington Valley and with it a sense of satisfaction that things continue to move forward for the trail system. While no large projects were finished in 2012, a few smaller ones have, and many have been set in motion.

The incredibly successful Farmington River Trail (FRT) has had sections in service since 1996. The last piece from Collinsville Center was completed up to Route 44 two years ago. It was greeted with much fanfare including a visit and opening speech by CT Governor Dannel P. Malloy. The Town of Burlington is aware of the serious deteriora-tion of the trail in their town, and we are glad to report that they are the recipient of a grant of $250,000 to help defray the costs of root remediation, cutting back the shoul-ders, regrading and repaving. There is every chance that there will be a shortfall in this funding, and the FVTC stands ready to help the town if needed. As soon as I have more information I will post it on the Website.

Completion of the rest of the FRT north will be more troublesome. The railroad right of way has unfortunately been mostly lost north of Route 44 in northern Canton and Sims-bury. Acquisition of land to build out the trail will be piecemeal, with connections to parcels of Town-owned open space creating a somewhat patchwork trail. Recently, Konover Corp. has graciously offered to build out the FRT at its new CVS site on Law-ton Road and RT 44 in Canton, providing for a 500’ gateway to the northern part of the loop trail across a very active Route 44. We salute them as model corporate citizens for their willingness to take on this work. The Church of Latter Day Saints that abuts this brand new trail directly to the north is in negotiations with the Town to build the trail on their parcel, extending the FRT further toward the Simsbury town line.

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Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter May 20122021-08-10T19:00:13+00:00

President’s Letter

Happy Spring to all of our members, volunteers, supporters and friends. Our major fund-raiser of the year, the 15th annual Trails in Motion sponsored by St. Francis Hospital on June 2nd is coming up. Help us to support the trails on our 20th Anniversary!

Yes, twenty years. It seems unlikely that such an amount of time has passed. The Farm-ington Canal Heritage Trail is built in the Valley, the River Trail is substantially com-plete (up to RT 44) and the FVTC has programs in place to keep them clean, provide helpful amenities and provide for repairs. We are dedicated to the safety, education and happiness of every trail user. With your support we have an operating budget that has been averaging over $40,000 a year, with 94% going exclusively to trail programs.

The far-seeing group that started it all was led by our founding president, Preston Reed of Farmington and Len Tulisano of Simsbury. Some of the original key members of that group included Steve Noble (still our invaluable treasurer), Bob Thompson, Mike Schloss, and Deb and Ron Lilly. Past presidents include Jim Sage and Dwight Weed. So many people contributed to the success of the trails over two decades that it is impossi-ble to list them all. To all board members and officers past and present, our sincere thanks. Most of all, our thanks go to all of our volunteers and members who allow us to do what we do. In fact, in our largest all-volunteer project to date, over 175 volunteers showed up for our Clean-Up Day on April 15th. Old friends and new faces confirmed our ever increasing vibrancy as a volunteer organization.

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Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter August 20112021-08-10T18:58:02+00:00

President’s Letter

This summer’s Letter is mercifully short so that we can publish the work of the Strategic Planning Committee on a new Business Plan for the FVTC. Rich Rowlenson headed up this task and has written the two pages inside. While much of our mission statement remains the same we recognize the need to help our towns with maintenance issues, and we will be soliciting for the Maintenance Fund in the coming months. If you have any interest in joining one of the committees please get in contact with us.

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Farmington Valley Trails Council Newsletter May 20112021-08-10T18:57:03+00:00

President’s Letter

Welcome to our first electronically disseminated newsletter. In an effort to save money and trees, we have gone the route that many organizations have already chosen. This past year has been one of notable success. Farmington and Canton are finishing the gaps in the River Trail, both of which should be done no later than early fall. South of us, Southington finished a huge part of their total mileage of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. The large remaining gap in Farmington, Plainville, and Southington is moving toward design phase, with Plainville and Southington waiting on the acquisition of abandoned pieces of the railroad right-of-way by the Connecticut DEP.

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