Story Walk on Stony Creek Trolley Trail

B-08-23-16 Welcome signShoreline Greenway Trail appreciates efforts like this one from The Willoughby Wallace library in Stony Creek.  The library has created a StoryWalk for families to get outside and enjoy!

To see it, park at the Shoreline Greenway trailhead on West Point Rd in Stony Creek and head west.  Don’t forget to check out the hidden swing onswing at stony creek 2 your left just after the Story Walk begins.

Following is part of an article posted on Zip06 on 7/18/16: (to read the entire article visit the Willoughby Wallace story walk 2016 website.

‘Hermit Crab’ Stars on Trolley Trail StoryWalk

By Pam Johnson, Senior Staff WriterContact Reporter

Published July 18, 2016. Last updated 10:53 a.m., July 19, 2016

There’s an imaginary character you can catch on Branford’s popular Trolley Trail, and he’s not on Pokemon Go.

Since July 6, pages from storybook author Eric Carle’s colorful tale, A House for Hermit Crab, has the story’s hero popping up prominently on the trail, along a unique StoryWalk posted by the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library. The library is just a stone’s throw away from the Stony Creek side of the trail, entered from West Point Road.

From Stony Creek, the trail leads to Pine Orchard with features including a span over a former trolley trestle bridge, some stunning views of the Thimble Islands, a concrete pedestrian bridge and trails passing wetlands and woodlands surrounds.

Mom Sarah Bradley sharing Story Walk with her kids

Mom Sarah Bradley sharing Story Walk with her kids

On July 6, the library staff introduced the StoryWalk to the public with a special event that drew about 40 kids (and their adults) to check it out, said Children’s Librarian Stephanie Carvin. The event culminated with kids coming back to the public library to visit hermit crabs and a horseshoe crab in a touch tank experience contributed by a member of the Friends of the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library.

The library will keep the StoryWalk up and running for the rest of the summer, said Carvin. Posted unobtrusively on wooden stakes along one section of the trail, the walk eventually takes readers past some 30 laminated book pages. It ends at the concrete bridge with the last page of the book, and big surprise for kids to find—hundreds of tiny fiddler crabs in their natural habitat, scampering across the mud at low tide.

Start looking for fiddler crabs!

Start looking for fiddler crabs!

The nationwide StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Carvin explained. The project is designed to encouraging reading and hikes/walks. StoryWalk curators simply pick a book that fits the theme or goal of their project.

 “This year’s summer reading has a fitness theme, ‘On Your Mark, Get Set, READ,’” said Carvin. “We thought this would be a perfect year to implement a StoryWalk because it incorporates exercise with reading.”

July 13, 7pm – at Blackstone Library, Branford: Local educator Ted Braun will present his new book

Ted Braun, a Shoreline Greenway Trail Board member, an avid bicyclist and a retired educator,  has written a new book based on the diaries of his wife Deirdre’s great-grandfather, Llewellyn Barker, written from the age of 14 to 86, entitled  The Barkers of Branford: Life in America Through a Local Lens, chronicling the history of a family, of a town, of a nation.

Blackstone Library display case of family memorabilia for Ted's new book

Blackstone Library display case of family memorabilia for Ted’s new book

Ted welcomes you to join him in his presentation at the Blackstone Library sponsored by the Branford Historical Society on Wednesday, July 13th at 7 PM.  Ted will share from the following:

·       A Boy’s Life in the 1860’s
·       19th C Domestic Life
·       The Golden Age Of Bicycles
·       Prohibition Insights      
·       Women Step Forward
·       19th C Branford Education 
·       A Laborer’s View
·       Electrification & The Flush Toilet 
                                                               ·       The Great War
Of special interest to cyclists is his chapter highlighting bicycling in the last decade of the 19thcentury. Some excerpts from the chapter on “The Golden Age of Bicycling”:   ….Bicycling in the mid 19th century was more akin to a circus act than a means of transportation. It was both difficult and hazardous for the rider who was precariously perched above the enormous front wheel of the “high wheeler”.  Not until the 1880s, when the “safety bicycle” was invented, did bicycling gain widespread popularity.
…The later 19th century launched “The Golden Age of Bicycling” …. Mass production made it affordable for the average citizen.   A million bicycles were produced in 1897 alone. 

[Read more…]

Branford Volunteer Cleans up Nature’s Garden.

Branford Nature's Garden before Clean-up

Nature’s Garden before Clean-up

Our thanks go to Branford volunteer, Jamie Dean, for cleaning up Nature’s Garden!

In Branford, there is an area known as Nature’s Garden that is adjacent to the Shoreline Greenway Trail between Pine Orchard Road and Birch Road.  This outdoor environmental study habitat was organized by dozens of volunteers, and aided by donations from Branford businesses, in 1997.  Since then, it has fallen into disrepair.

Enter Jamie Dean, a local landscaper who volunteered his skills, his equipment, and many hours of his time to start the process of reclaiming this wonderful asset to Branford’s school system.

Branford Nature's Garden After Clean-up

Nature’s Garden After Clean-up

The before and after photos tell the whole story.  Jamie rescued native trees and shrubs, originally planted to illustrate tree fruits and berries that feed birds in the autumn, from the invasive species that were killing them, such as multiflora roses.  He also reclaimed a nearby area next to the trail.

The Shoreline Greenway Trail hopes to restore this valuable educational resource as a National Wildlife Habitat,  so that it will be available for Branford’s schoolchildren.  Thank you, Jamie!

Shoreline Greenway Trail to Participate in Yale Day of Service

Shoreline Greenway Trail supporters are invited to pitch in as we take part in Yale Day of Service on Saturday, May 7. Participants in this community-service initiative will be working on the Tabor section of Shoreline Greenway Trail in Branford, helping to keep a temporary pedestrian trail clear and usable for school groups, walkers and hikers while we await completion of design and construction of a finished pedestrian/bicycle trail that will travel past beautiful Chet’s Pond.

This is a great opportunity to get some healthy exercise in a natural environment while contributing to construction of an important community asset. Members of the Yale community—students, faculty, administrators, alumni and friends—will help with trail clearing, including brush cutting and minor tree trimming. Some tools will be available, but please bring loppers and pruners if you have them. Wear sturdy shoes, and dress comfortably for outdoor work. Meet near the Shoreline Pet Lodge at 157 Pine Orchard Road; park at the west end of the side road.

Last year, more than 4,000 members of the extended Yale community in 38 U.S. states and 18 countries worked on various community projects, and we’re excited to be part of this global celebration of service this year.

For more information or to sign up, visit our page on the Yale Day of Service web site or contact site coordinator John Paulson (Yale ’67) at