Nov. 2, 2017 – The Redding leaders of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT), Stuart Green and David Pattee, led an October 28 hike on the Wilton Loop, a showcase trail for the NRVT. First Selectman Julia Pemberton and a group of a dozen Redding residents joined the hike.
Stuart Green said, “It’s great to see the growing enthusiasm for the Redding Mile, the first leg of the NRVT in our town. We want Redding to become the first equestrian section of the NRVT.”
The Redding Mile, running from Fire Hill to Pickett’s Ridge Road, is designed and shovel-ready. The cost is estimated at $265,000. Three grants have been submitted, with $36,000 raised to date, leaving $229,000 to be raised for construction to begin in 2018.
Oct. 25, 2017 – State Representative Gail Lavielle (R-143) has been named an Environmental Champion by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) for the sixth consecutive year. Of the 16 legislators to receive the recognition this year, she was commended for her leadership on issues related to electric vehicles and bottle recycling during the 2017 legislative session.
The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters is a bipartisan, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Connecticut’s environment by making it a priority for elected officials. CTLCV works with the state’s environmental advocacy groups to identify, highlight, and track important bills that affect Connecticut’s natural resources, including air, water, wildlife, open space, and health. Following each legislative session, it recognizes a number of lawmakers for their leadership on environmental issues by naming them Environmental Champions.
Oct. 20, 2017 – A group dedicated to making the Redding portion of the Norwalk River Valley Trail will lead a hike on a completed section of the trail next weekend.
The hike will be on the Wilton loop, which has become a showcase piece for the trail, which will go through Norwalk, Wilton, Ridgefield, Redding and Danbury. The Wilton Loop is a ten-foot wide, stone dust trail for hikers, bikers, joggers, dog walkers and baby strollers. It’s also ADA compliant and can accommodate wheelchairs.
The first leg of the Norwalk River Valley Trail planned for Redding, dubbed the Redding Mile, runs from Fire Hill to Pickett’s Ridge Road. The Redding Mile is designed, shovel-ready and takes advantage of a pre-existing old wood road in the state Department of Transportation Super 7 corridor.
Oct. 6, 2017 — Users of the ever-growing Norwalk River Valley Trail will have a safer route through the Mathews Park area thanks to a rerouting project set to begin shortly.
The trail now goes through Devon’s Playground and presents a risk of bicycles and children colliding. The new route will run from Crescent Street through historic Pine Island Cemetery to Lockwood Mathews Park.
“The proposed alternative route through the cemetery makes much more sense from a safety standpoint,” said Susan Sweitzer, senior project manager at the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency.
The Redevelopment Agency and Norwalk Historical Commission are spearheading the project with the agency providing capital dollars to create the new trail stretch.
Resources Services of Bridgeport was awarded the $48,025 contract for the trail construction project. The company expects to complete the new trail by Nov. 1. Two trail sections will be built through Pine Island Cemetery, one compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act, the other along a slope.
Sep. 30, 2017 — Standing at the start of a small hiking trail near the Ridgefield-Redding town line, Danielle Bottinger and her 8-year-old daughter explained how just an hour before a clearing in the bushes was filled with invasive plants.
“We cleared out that whole space and made that giant pile of evil knotweed,” said Bottinger, a Wilton resident, pointing to the heap of invasive Japanese plants nearby.
She and her family were among the 60 volunteers that spent Saturday morning clearing debris, removing invasive plants and planting native pollinator-friendly plants along the trail in celebration of National Public Lands Day.
The event, sponsored by REI and several nature groups, aimed to both preserve the existing pathway and preview what’s to come.
Sept. 27, 2017 – On September 16th, seventeen birdwatchers set out to identify the maximum number of bird species in a single day along the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT).
In the world of birdwatching, this is called a Big Day.
The birders split into six groups and covered ten different spots along the NRVT from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, to Allen’s Meadow in Wilton. By the end of the Big Day, the group identified 87 different species of birds.
Joe Bear, an experienced birder who led the Wilton team, said, “”Doing a Big Day, especially on foot, allows you to spend an extended amount of time in the field experiencing details you might not otherwise appreciate. Thanks to its diverse habitat winding through meadows, fields, woodlands, and along watercourses, the NRVT offers a perfect venue for a Big Day out in Wilton and Norwalk”.
Sep. 28, 2017 – The section of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) known as the Wilton Loop will get a little bit longer this fall. With $200,000 being raised over the summer, work may now commence to carry the trail from Twin Oak Lane to Skunk Lane.
Timber & Stone, which has built this portion of the trail since its inception, will begin construction of the 2,000-foot extension in October and expects to be finished by December.
Earlier this year, Timber and Stone finished a boardwalk extending the east side of the Wilton Loop to Twin Oak Lane.
Pat Sesto, president of the Friends of the NRVT, said, “The support for the NRVT among Wilton residents is inspiring. They’re making it possible for the trail to get better and better in Wilton.”
Sept. 26, 2017 — Around this time of year, about 1,000 people visit the Norwalk River Valley Trail.
The 38 miles of trail connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Danbury is 10 feet wide and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, making it a popular resource for a large range of people, said NRVT Executive Director Charlie Taney.
“We get an incredibly wide spectrum of people using the trails,” Taney said. “We get moms with baby strollers. We get lots of dog walkers, we get runners, we get walkers. We’re ADA compliant — we even get people out here in wheelchairs occasionally.”
Just recently, Taney led a bird walk on Sept. 21 for members of Stay at Home in Wilton, a nonprofit organization that helps seniors age in place. With his help, the group of dozen seniors listened for blue jays, looked for woodpecker holes and enjoyed the outdoors while walking along the Wilton loop of the trail.
Aug. 26, 2017: For some, it’s hard to picture an uninterrupted trail connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Danbury.
That’s 37 miles of trail — of which less than one-third is completed, mostly in Norwalk and Wilton.
But Norwalk River Valley Trail Executive Director Charlie Taney has a vision.
“It might take 10 to 15 years,” he said. “But it’s going to be wonderful once it’s done.”
Funding for the trail comes from a variety of sources — in Norwalk the city has consistently supported the trail and matched funding to complete the existing portions stretching from The Maritime Aquarium to central Norwalk.
“Norwalk has been committed for a long time,” Taney said. “Those sections tend to be paved because the city is such a tremendous supporter of the project.”
July 11, 2017: The Rotary Club of Ridgefield donated the first $1,000 towards the $20,000 Trail Plan for the Norwalk River Valley Trail’s initial section in Ridgefield, dubbed the Ridgefield Ramble.
The Ridgefield Ramble will be a two-mile section of the NRVT running north from the intersection of Simpaug Turnpike and Rt. 7, to Bobby’s Court on the Ridgefield/Redding line.
This section offers beautiful vistas along the Norwalk River, a combination of State and Conservation property allowing construction of the NRVT.
May 23, 2017: Four years and two miles ago, the Norwalk River Valley Trail in Wilton existed only on paper. Today, the trail is long enough to host a 5K.
Saturday, May 20, marked another milestone in the trail’s development as the ribbon was cut on a 200-foot boardwalk that traverses wetland in the section that links Autumn Ridge Road and Twin Oaks Lane. Trail officials are ready to add another 2,000 feet to get to Skunk Lane. All they need is $80,000.
May 13, 2017: Eight Norwalk River Valley Trail volunteers, primarily Wilton residents, will be counting and surveying trail users on the Wilton Loop between May 13-21.
The Norwalk River Valley Trail is one of 15 trails participating in the CT Trail Census. The data gathered in this research will help the Norwalk River Valley Trail and its supporters understand how often the trail is being used, by whom and for what purposes. This information will help in planning the further expansion of the trail.
Apr 26, 2017: A new two-mile walking trail will soon be coming to Ridgefield as part of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT).
NRVT is a project that aims to build 38 miles of multipurpose trail connecting Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Rogers Park in Danbury, passing through Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding along the way.
The executive director of NRVT, Charlie Taney, gave the Board of Selectmen an update at its meeting Wednesday, April 19.
Mar 31, 2017:
The Wilton Loop of Norwalk River Valley Trail inches closer to completion as development continues.
Trail builder Timber & Stone finished a 200-foot boardwalk crossing sensitive wetlands and connecting to Twin Oaks Lane, along with an additional 700 feet of trail.
The Wilton Loop now runs longer than 1.5 miles from the trail head at Route 7 and Wolfpit Road to Twin Oaks Lane. Timber & Stone anticipates completing this latest section of the NRVT by the end of April.
“We’re excited that the boardwalk and additional trail on the Wilton Loop will be completed as the weather improves and more people will be out using the Trail,” NRVT Chairman Pat Sesto said.
Mar 29, 2017: The Norwalk River Valley Trail, Mayor Harry Rilling, Keep Norwalk Beautiful, Grace Farms Foundation volunteers and employees of Shop Rite Supermarket will join forces to clean up the section of the proposed NRVT running along the Norwalk River adjacent to Riverside Avenue in Norwalk.
The cleanup will begin at 10 a.m. April 20, with crews gathering at the NRVT banner on Riverside Avenue just north of Casatelli Tile at 34 Riverside Ave. Tools and garbage bags will be provided, along with water and bug repellent. Volunteers are welcome to bring their own tools.