CT Greenways Council Holds 21st Annual CT Greenway Awards October 1
10 Awards to be Given; DEEP Deputy Commissioner Mason Trumble to Speak on the Importance of Greenways
The Connecticut Greenways Council (CGC) will hold its 21st Annual CT Greenway Awards on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. at the Rotary Pavilion in Charter Oak Park in Manchester. The event will celebrate the Charter Oak Greenway, Manchester’s Charter Oak Park, and the Community of Manchester, CT.
The CGC consists of members appointed by the Governor and the leaders of the General Assembly. Their duties include advising and assisting in the coordination of state agencies, municipalities, regional planning organizations and private citizens in voluntarily planning and implementing a system of greenways.
A greenway is a corridor of open space that may protect natural resources, preserve scenic landscapes and historical resources or offer opportunities for recreation or nonmotorized transportation. A greenway may also connect existing protected areas and provide access to the outdoors; may be located along a defining natural feature, such as a waterway; along a man-made corridor, including an unused right-of-way, traditional trail routes or historic barge canals; or may be a greenspace along a highway or around a village.
Greenways in Connecticut cover thousands of acres throughout every county in the state and may include paved or unpaved trail systems, ridgelines, or linked parcels of open space. Many other communities around Connecticut have chosen, through greenway designation, to recognize the importance of river corridors for natural resource protection, recreational opportunities, and scenic values. The CT Greenways Council website contains details on how to get designations, assistance and a map of our State Greenways: http://www.ct.gov/deep/greenways.
Each year, the CGC holds an awards ceremony to celebrate greenways and to highlight the efforts of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the promotion, development and enhancement of the state’s greenways.
Event speakers include CGC Chair Bruce Donald, Manchester Mayor Jay Moran, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Deputy Commissioner Mason Trumble, and Dr. Bob Rodney, past Rotary President and past Greenway awardee, who will offer brief comments about an October 3 Rotary in Motion event leaving from Charter Oak Park.
"Once again I'm very pleased to host the Trails Awards,” CGC Chair Bruce Donald said. “In this year of COVID-19 we have seen trail usage grow across the state anywhere from 60% to 220%, proving our outdoor facilities are magnets for folks desperate for safe outdoor enjoyment. It is a great joy to honor those advocates, professionals, and municipalities that make all of the various types of trails possible in our state."
Trumble, who will be speaking about the importance of greenways, underscored their importance from both an access and a health standpoint.
“Greenways provide an accessible venue for all people to enjoy the outdoors,” Trumble said. “Outdoor spaces provide an immeasurable mental and physical health benefit to Connecticut residents – especially during a pandemic. Greenways provide a valuable economic benefit as well. Currently outdoor recreation is driving Connecticut’s tourism economy as people look to the outdoors to replace other forms of entertainment. Certainly, Connecticut’s greenways have never been more important than they are in 2020. I commend the great work of the CGC and this year’s awardees for all that they have done—and continue to do—to preserve and raise awareness about these open spaces.”
Prior to the event, at 3 p.m., those interested have the option of participating in a walk on the Charter Oak Greenway or a mountain bike ride at Case Mountain. The ride will be led by Al Tinti of the New England Mountain Biking Association. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more ride information.
Safe social distancing will be practiced at this event. Attendees are asked to be mindful of this and to please be considerate of others.
This year’s awardees are:
- Bike-Walk Bolton, will receive the CT Greenways Council’s Nonprofit Award.
- Aaron Budris, Senior Regional Planner at Naugatuck Valley COG - will receive the CT Greenways Council’s Unsung Hero Award.
- Penny Foisey, the Connecticut Horse Council Volunteer Horse Patrol Coordinator for Mashamoquet State Park and Pomfret, will receive the CT Greenways Council’s Volunteer Award.
- The Ebony Horsewomen Junior Mounted Patrol (JMP) program will receive the CT Greenways Council’s Community Connection Award.
- Amy Hernandez and Andrés Calle-Otero, of Latino Outdoors Connecticut, will receive the CT Greenways Council’s User Engagement Award.
- Meg Sautter of Newington will receive the CT Greenways Council’s Volunteer Award.
- Matthew House, President of CT Off-Road Enthusiasts Coalition (COREC), will receive the CT Greenways Council’s Advocacy Award.
- Kim Bradley, President of South East CT NEMBA, will receive the CT Greenways Council’s Volunteer Award.
- Scott Bushee, P.E., Project Manager in Highway Design at DOT, will receive the CT Greenways Council’s Design Award.
- Charlie Tracy will receive the CT Greenways Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
*Debbie Livingston, who received the 2019 CT Greenways Council’s Volunteer Award, will be presented with her award at the Oct. 1 ceremony, as she was unable to attend last year’s event.