Nomination Process for New Connecticut Greenways Now Open
Submissions Accepted through May 1 to Designate Natural Resource Corridors
(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (“DEEP”) and the Connecticut Greenways Council today announced that they are now soliciting nominations for official state greenway designations.
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 highlight and protect so many critical natural and historic resources in our state and often provide opportunities to connect people to the outdoors and a wider local community,” said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes. “Our Connecticut Greenways Council encourages municipalities to embrace this process to facilitate sustainable development and preservation of these special places.”
Greenways are an integral part of any community, offering recreational opportunities, providing alternative transportation options, helping to preserve the environment, and supporting economic development. Greenways can make a community a more attractive place to live by connecting living spaces with the environment, and they preserve history and cultivate town pride.
An official designation by the Greenways Council recognizes a greenway as an open space that not only meets the definition of a greenway, but also enhances the community and is supported by local government initiatives. Designated greenways, both for recreation and resource protection, will be listed in a subsequent revision of the State Plan of Conservation and Development and may receive increased consideration for a variety of grants. There are currently 96 designated greenways in Connecticut.
As examples of recently awarded greenways designations, the council announced new greenways in Manchester, Rocky Hill, Norfolk, and Groton last year. The Rocky Hill Greenway provides opportunity for visitors to explore Quarry Park, which contains three miles of trails through the historic home of the original "Rockie Hill,” and the Cross Town Greenway in Groton combines an urban and natural pathway connecting communities to outdoor resources. The Norfolk Mountain Express Accessible Rail Trail plans to develop access for persons with disabilities and uses an existing railroad bed right of way.
The Greenways Council will evaluate all nominated greenways for consistency with designation criteria. Those selected for designation will be announced by the Greenways Council in conjunction with their National Trails Day event planned for June 2, 2023.
The deadline for submission of nominations is May 1, 2023.
The nomination form is available as a word document or a PDF. The preferred method for submission of completed nomination forms is by e-mail to Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org, and digital photos and maps are preferred (digital photos of hard copy maps are acceptable).
For more information, please visit Greenways (ct.gov).