Shoreline Greenway Trail is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to building a 25-mile continuous path for bicyclists, walkers and hikers on the Connecticut Shoreline from Lighthouse Point in New Haven through East Haven, Branford, and Guilford to Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.
Recognizing that well-planned recreational facilities promote physical activity, reduce stress, improve people’s health and provide environmental benefits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Park Service have created a tool that communities can use to assess the health benefits of trails and parks. The CDC and NPS have produced The Parks, Trails and Health Workbook to help planners, park and trail advocates and professionals, and health practitioners factor public health considerations into the development and improvement of parks and trails. The workbook is intended to facilitate collaborative discussions about the health benefits of trails and parks, and to help communities prepare for formal health impact assessments of trail and park projects.
Improving public health is one of Shoreline Greenway Trail’s core goals. Of all the trips that people make daily in our area, 80% are made by people alone in their cars; only 2% are taken using an active mode of transportation such as walking or biking. As a result, motorized transportation contributes about 24% of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions, and the low level of physical activity is taking a toll on public health. Some one-quarter of New Haven County’s population gets no leisure-time activity at all, and two-thirds of the county’s residents are overweight or obese. Healthcare and other costs of obesity total $147 billion a year in the United States, and low fitness is responsible for 16% to 17% of U.S. deaths.
We can do something about this. SGT is not only building a multi-use trail between New Haven and Madison, we’re working to improve pedestrian and cyclist access and infrastructure throughout the Shoreline, and we’re actively encouraging people to get outdoors and get some exercise. We would welcome collaboration with a public health agency, health system or other entity to assess the potential health impact of the Shoreline Greenway Trail and its complementary activities. Interested parties should contact SGT board member Peter Hawes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Shoreline Greenway Trail bicycle team raised $3,625 for the trail during the 2016 Rock to Ride Earth Day Ride on April 30 in New Haven. SGT fielded a team of 21 riders, who enjoyed a sunny day of pedaling through New Haven-area parks and neighborhoods plus tasty food, great music and camaraderie at the finish line.
Anna Heinzel and Kristen D’Souza led SGT’s participation in the event, which attracted 1,135 cyclists and raised more than $165,000 for 28 environmental organizations, including SGT.
The 2017 Rock to Rock is scheduled for Saturday, April 22, so save the date, gather your friends and family, and plan to ride with the SGT team!
Start your holiday early Saturday morning with a flat 15-mile round-trip on-road bike ride from the Guilford harbor along Route One to Madison’s boat launch and red cottage at Circle Beach (seen in photo below from the Guilford harbor). We will pass by the site of Guilford’s future first 3/4 mile trail section to be built completely off-road along the south side of Route One to the East River. Meet at 8:30am at the Guilford Harbor – at the end of Whitfield Street from the Town Green. Experienced riders 14 and older. Helmets required. Waivers signed at start. Bring water. Leader Pam Simonds, 453-2271 or email@example.com.
A big thanks to the Garden Club of Madison for donating plantings to the Madison section of the Trail!
Members of the Garden Club, including President Jody Godbout recently watched the installation of the native planting material chosen to soften the walkway area at Hammonassett State Park. Landscape architect Barbara Yaeger donated her services to design the planting being installed. Pictured here (all from Madison) are Perry Rianhard who leads trail development in Madison, Susan Rianhard GCM, Jodie Godbout, President GCM, Lee Haines GCM, Ted Raff, a trail volunteer, Meg Mack GCM, Barbara Yaeger, and Steven Mack, a trail volunteer. For more informationwww.shorelinegreenwaytrail.org and gcmct.org
Thanks to Cathy Marsh Photography for the beautiful photo!