What is a Greenway?

New fence on restored wall :: photo credit Nick Dines

Greenways are open-space corridors managed for conservation and recreation. They follow natural features, such as rivers, and link nature reserves, parks, cultural features, and historic sites with each other. There are numerous benefits to establishing a greenway along the Mill River.

The River Links Us Together:

  • The Mill River physically links Ashfield, Chesterfield, Conway, Goshen, Northampton, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Hatfield, and Whately.
  • Northampton and Williamsburg were founded on the Mill River and the river remains their cultural center.
  • The Mill River is the recreational spine of Northampton and Williamsburg.
  • The Mill River is the crucial ecological feature in the watershed and holds much of the watershed's biological diversity.
  • The Mill River remains a vital, but underutilized, recreational and educational resource for the region.
  • The Mill River corridor is ripe to become one of the watershed's most beautiful design features.

Vibrant, Local Economic Activity:

  • Greenways, like all conservation areas, tend to increase the value of adjacent properties.
  • Increased visits by residents and tourists will provide income for local businesses.
  • The cost to towns of riverside repair, especially those associated with local flooding, will decrease as more care is taken to maintain river banks and conserve vegetated buffers.

Open Space Conservation and Recreation:

The Mill River is the watershed's single most important organizing principle in planning for recreation and open space because it physically ties together all our towns. Furthermore, the river offers unique opportunities to connect all of us to the living natural and cultural systems that created our communities and continues to sustain them.

We foresee a future in which people will be able to access most of the Mill River, to walk its banks, to view wildlife, and to rediscover our cultural heritage.