A History of the Mill River Greenway Initiative

Photo credit :: Helen Symons

In the summer of 2009, several members of the advocacy group Northampton Design Forum formed a group focused on the Mill River with the aim of making good design a central feature in downtown Northampton where the Mill River ran before 1940.  In October of that year, a dozen residents from Williamsburg and Northampton held the first meeting of the Mill River Greenway at the house of Carl and Sue Larson in Bay State.

By March 2010, the Mill River Greenway numbered some 3 dozen members with backgrounds from the blue-collar trades, the ecological and design  professions, and staff from governmental and non-profit agencies.  We established a Google Group and held bi-monthly meetings to establish an agenda for the Greenway, began collecting archival materials, and started work on a series of projects, which can be found on this website.

In November 2010, we decided to build a website and ask the general public to join us all in designing and building a Mill River Greenway.  That same year, MRGI received the support of Smith College to begin a partnership that continues to provide results.  Working with faculty and staff from CEEDS (The Center for Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability), we have initiated and completed a series of projects, most of which receive support from CEEDS.