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.

1st Sat November 4th Bike Ride – Carpe Diem!

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What a difference a month makes this time of year,  during last month’s 1st Saturday walk participants were in shorts and November’s 1st Saturday bike ride  required layers to brave the cold morning air.  Despite the cool temps,  13 cyclists joined the round trip bike ride led by SGT’s Kristen D’Souza and Peter Hawes from Guilford’s Harbor to Circle Beach in Madison.  It was a chilly start but once the group got moving, took on the few hills and arrived at Circle Beach, the group couldn’t help but comment on the beautiful views of the Sound and how fortunate we are to live in or visit the CT Shoreline.

The ride was also a birthday celebration kick off for one of the participants and her family.  We are happy they chose to join SGT as part of their celebration,  thank you to all who joined the bike ride!

It was a nice morning ride with views of beautiful fall foliage, Long Island Sound and of course the happiness of celebrating Kellie’s birthday.  Then when the group finished the ride back at the Guilford Harbor, Kellie and some family members jumped off the dock straight into the water!!  Carpe Diem!!

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First Saturday Fun in East Haven!

October First Saturday Walk in East Haven

Twenty-five participants met on a warm October day at SGT trailhead in East Haven for an interpretive walk. Interpretive trail brochures produced by Joe Capozzo of Boy Scout Troop 401 were circulated. Mike Gambardella and Kirsten Dudley led the morning walk, pointing out natural sights highlighted in the brochure. We even ran into a baby snake, not mentioned in the handout! The group had many friendly new faces as well as familiar ones. Thank you all who joined us.

Interpretive trail guide Mike G. leads group past glacial rock

Interpretive trail guide Mike G. leads group past glacial rock

October First Saturday Walk in East Haven

Interpretive Walk in East Haven

Interpretive Walk in East Haven

October First Saturday Walk in East Haven

Telling Our Story at the Hammonasset Festival

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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!

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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.