Remembering Joe Marshall

Joe and Jane Marshall walking the Hammonasset section of the greenway trail.

Joe and Jane Marshall on the Hammonasset section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail.

It is with great sadness that we pass along news of the death of our friend Joe Marshall, the founder and an at-large board member of Shoreline Greenway Trail, on January 7, 2018.

Joe was the instigating force behind the Shoreline Greenway Trail. Returning from a visit to the East Bay Bike Path in Barrington, Rhode Island, in the summer of 2000, he wondered, “Why can’t we have a trail like that around here?” He gathered a group on his porch in Guilford for a series of meetings, and SGT was born a year later.

Joe’s dedication to SGT didn’t stop at its formation. He was deeply involved in our annual membership drives, worked with the news media to get the word out, and wrote a monthly newspaper column about the need for more walking and biking trails on the Shoreline. He was a member of the SGT Board of Directors for 15 years, staying engaged and active as long as he was physically able. He chaired the nominating committee until 2014, and at every board meeting he could be counted on for zesty, on-point insight and an upbeat wit that left us chuckling. Joe never let a disagreement get in the way of friendship, and in that sense, he set a tone of camaraderie and cooperation that has defined SGT’s working relationships to this day.

Joe was a gentleman—polite, modest, always optimistic. People who knew him use phrases like “a spark” and “full of life” to describe him. We are saddened by Joe’s passing and grateful for both his friendship and his enormous contributions to the Shoreline Greenway Trail.

A funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, January 27, at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 122 Broad Street, in Guilford. We offer our condolences to his widow, Jane Marshall, and the rest of Joe’s family.

Telling Our Story at the Hammonasset Festival


The theme of the festival was “Celebrating Nature and Native American Heritage.”

The traffic was steady at the Shoreline Greenway Trail table all weekend as SGT volunteers listened, answered questions and talked about the project during the annual Hammonasset Festival, held at the Guilford Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 30 and Sunday, October 1.

We had a visible presence in a corner of the fairgrounds barn, where—led by SGT board member Kristen D’Souza, who organized our participation in the festival—we handed out maps of current trail sections, discussed future plans and held a raffle for two children’s bicycle helmets. Congratulations to raffle winners Leia from Ansonia and Tula from Centerbrook!


SGT Board Chair Judy Miller talks with a visitor to our table.

People who came up to our table were enthusiastic about the project, and their thoughts, ideas and questions inspired us. It was wonderful to hear people say how often they use completed sections of the trail in Madison, Branford and East Haven—and how much they’d like to see more bike- and pedestrian-friendly connections on the Shoreline. We met many new supporters and potential volunteers, and we started a few conversations toward future partnerships.

Thanks to the Friends of Hammonasset and the staff of the Guilford Agricultural Society for providing such a warm, welcome and wonderful place for us to listen to people and tell our story.

Support the Nut Plains Pathway in Guilford!


Adams Middle School, one of two Guilford schools to be connected by the proposed Nut Plains Pathway.

Shoreline Greenway Trail is actively working to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and accessibility in Guilford, so we are excited to see the town moving forward on the Nut Plains Pathway, a bike and pedestrian connection between Adams Middle School and Guilford Lakes Elementary School.

This is not a Shoreline Greenway Trail project, but it is the kind of effort that we wholeheartedly applaud.

Come out and show your support! ATTEND a public hearing on Tuesday, September 26, at 7:30 p.m. at the Nathanael B. Greene Community Center (32 Church St). Hear about the town’s proposed plan! Let your VOICE be heard!

Shoreline Greenway Trail Takes Part in Trail Census

The Shoreline Greenway Trail at Hammonasset Beach State Park is one of 15 trails participating in a study intended to help the state, trail organizations and towns better understand who’s using trails and why, what economic impact trails have on their communities, what amenities users want, and how trails can be most soundly built and maintained. IMG_9027 Crop for SGT

Information from the Connecticut Trail Census, which will be conducted through the end of 2017, will be made public. It is expected to provide trail advocates with data to help promote the value of trails in their communities.

Data is being collected around the clock by an infrared counter at Hammonasset, with analysis done in waves throughout the year. A team of trained SGT volunteers is assisting the project by monitoring and calibrating the counter and by conducting face-to-face surveys on the trail. The raw data collected to date suggests that the Hammonasset section of the Shoreline Greenway Trail is one of the most heavily used in the state.

The sites participating are all paved or crushed stone, multi-use trails. They were chosen for the program based on their leadership, volunteer participation, ability to administer counters and collect data, connections to other trails and amenities, trail length, and demonstration of how trail managers plan to use and communicate the data collected.

The census is being conducted in a partnership involving the Connecticut Greenways Council; Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments; UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources’ Department of Extension and the Center for Land Use Education and Research; and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

If you’d like to be part of the project, especially by helping conduct on-site user surveys, contact Ginny Raff, chairperson of the Shoreline Greenway Trail’s Madison team.