Two April Opportunities

Here are two imminent April events!

April 18 Bay State Sustainability Fair 1:00-4:00 with a pair of riverwalks on Mill River historic sites. BSVA_SustainabilityFairFlyerPE

April 27th at 7:30 P.M.: A UMass Amherst project for an outdoor exhibit in Florence at the Northamtpon Community Farm/Florence Recreation Fields site.  Check it out:  UMass Outdoor Exhibit




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Spring 2015 Riverwalks and Paddle

Dear Friends of the Mill River,

With ice finally melting, and rain in the forecast, spring has arrived!  We’re delighted to announce the first batch of Mill River Walks for 2015.

Sunday, April 19 — Floodplain Forest paddle, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Easthampton (canoes provided!)  Dave McLain, leader.

Thursday, April 23 — Hidden Mill, downtown Northampton I.  John Sinton, leader.

Saturday, May 9 — Skinnerville/Haydenville.  Ralmon Black, leader.

Sunday, June 7 — Leeds to Haydenville.  Gaby Immerman, leader.

Please email to reserve your spot. More information about time and meeting place will be provided when you register.  Space is limited!  If you were on a waiting list last year, you will be given priority in registering for the same walk this year.

Don’t forget your passports!  We look forward to seeing you out on the river this year.

Gaby and John

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1780-1850 History Available

John has put the next installments of a Mill River History up for your review and comments.  Here are Part 7A: Introduction7B — Industrial Development: Dams & Mills, and 7C: Floods.  This is pretty amazing stuff, so please feast your eyes and give me some feedback.  We’ll need some serious help on the history of the river from Florence upstream through Williamsburg.

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1700-1780 History Available

John has put the next installments of a Mill River History up for your review and comments.  Here are Part 6A: Introduction and Part 6B: Dams, Mills, Floods and the Fishery. 

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2015 Plans for MRGI

Happy New Year!

We three co-moderators at the Mill River Greenway Initiative — Gaby, Neal, and John — wish you all the very best for what we expect to be a really exciting 2015. So let’s get to our plans for this coming year.

  1. Having completed a successful series of riverwalks in 2014, we plan to do it all again in 2015 and will have a schedule available in March.
  2. The Leeds Greenway Committee of the Leeds Civic Association will lead the way by publishing the 2nd in our series of self-guided tours when they publish a Leeds riverwalk with the help of Smith College students.
  3. The Bay State Greenway Committee of the Bay State Neighborhood Association will continue its work on options for a path along the river and for National Historic Site status for the Clement St. Bridge.
  4. Burgy’s official Mill River Greenway Committee will continue its trailblazing work linking the Leeds section of the rail trail out to South Main Street in Haydenville and, eventually, across the Brassworks area and all the way to Williamsburg town center.
  5. We’re helping to organize public and private landowners including Smith College, Grow Food Northampton, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, and the City of Northampton, to work together in combating the spread of invasive plant species all along the river.
  6. We are beginning a new initiative to feature art and music on the Mill River through a program called ArtShed, the brainchild of Williamsburg resident and MRGI member Todd Lynch, who is a landscape designer and artist. This will be a series of juried art, music, and installation competitions open to artists/musicians/designers/architects at selected sites along the Mill River. A MRGI committee will be planning these events and seeking funding for presentation in spring 2016.
  7. With the lead help of MRGI member Alexander Papouchis, we will launch a program to develop curricular materials for K-12 about the natural and cultural history of the Mill River.
  8. We plan to have a multi-media presentation on the Mill River ready to provide at public occasions by June of 2015.
  9. UMass history professor David Glassberg will have students in his public history seminar prepare presentations on the Mill River for Northampton and Williamsburg audiences. The seminar will focus on interpretive materials for Mill River locations.
  10. MRGI members will be working on materials for an information kiosk that the City of Northampton will install at the new Florence Fields recreation site.

We look forward to working many of you in 2015. Please let us know if you are interested in contributing to any of the above projects! We are all volunteers are welcome your energy, ideas, and support. It looks like it’ll be a year full of fun.

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Todd Lynch’s Flotsam Weirs Video

Hey, folks, here’s Burgy’s own Todd Lynch in his video about the inimitable Flotsam Weirs at the junction of the Mill’s West and East Branches.  Check it out.  We’ll also put a link on the website under Art and Music.

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Bike Path Riding Conditions Website

Hey, folks, this just in from Nick Horton & Co. from Friends of Northampton Trails & Greenways — a website to check the condition of the bike path this winter!  The week of January 5 bodes ill, but what a great addition to the community!

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Mill River History — End of the 17th-Century Section

John has posted the last of Section 5 on the early European settlement to the end of the 17th century.  Stay tuned for the 18th —   Oh, how slowly does the hand of history move!

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Additions to Mill River History

Well, folks, John has finally gotten around to revising and adding to his Mill River history.  Parts 5A and 5B are now available here and here.  We’ll post more shortly.  Enjoy the bedtime reading, and please comment, suggest, or make corrections to this ongoing project.  Thanks.

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Leeds Walk Reprise! Saturday, November 8

We’re thrilled to announce that the Leeds Mill River Greenway Committee will be reprising their fascinating stroll through this historic mill village on Saturday, November 8 from 10-12.  There are very few spots left, so please reserve your place by emailing

Heidi Stevens, Jason Johnson, Sue Carbin, and Penny Geis will lead the Leeds walk, telling tales of the great 1874 Flood and other stories.

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