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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