The Mill River Greenway Initiative is urging all our members to join with our neighbors and partners in a bike ride on Friday, September 27th at 5:30 to celebrate two weeks of support to limit the effects of climate change. Let’s do it!
The happiest of early summertimes to you, dear Mill River friends!
We are experiencing such a surge of interest and support for Mill River work that we’re beginning to burst with pride at the seams of our all-too-small workforce garment (namely Gaby, John, and Neal). Let’s get to the news:
Attached is a photo of the Community Gardens at the Grow Food Northampton Community Farm, on the Mill River in Florence, courtesy of MRGI champion Reid Bertone-Johnson of Smith College and his kite-mounted camera!
Dear Mill River Rats,
The happiest of New Years to you and to our amazing river! Once again, Williamsburg and the upper watershed leads the way in accomplishments and will continue to be our chief focus over the next year. But first, some quick updates:
Once again, best wishes to all of you for the New Year, and three extra cheers for the good folks from Williamsburg!!
John, Gaby, and Neal
Meet at the Nonotuck Mill parking lot across Nonotuck St. from ChemiPlastica (do not park at ChemiPlastica!)
MRGI’s third Historic Mill River Walk brochure is hot off the press, and we’re pleased that Wendy Sinton, author of the brochure, will be our leader for our inaugural guided tour. The walk is a mile and a half, but those who are unable to walk that far will be able to do the first half mile and then return to their car.
Long the center of Mill River industry, Florence, originally known as Broughton’s Meadow, was home to factories that produced silk thread, plastics, and brushes. You’ll explore the unique juxtaposition of industrial activity and the abolitionist movement. Sojourner Truth and David Ruggles once lived and worked here as part of a utopian community. This tour ends at the farm of a noted abolitionist and the spot where the sad remains from the 1874 flood came to rest.
As usual, the tour is limited to 20 participants, so let us know of your interest.
We’re thrilled to announce a series of great initiatives this spring and summer:
LET’S TACKLE INVASIVES ALONG OUR RIVER!
We’re delighted to make available a new guide for land stewards in the Mill River watershed, “Making Room for Native Plants and Wildlife.” The guide, written by the New England Wild Flower Society with support from Smith College, is a plant-by-plant guide to the management and removal of invasive plants species commonly found encroaching on the banks and floodplains of the Mill River. The guide devotes one page per species to repeat offenders such as Japanese knotweed, oriental bittersweet, and multiflora rose, offering pictures and description for identification, a table of when and how best to combat each species, and suggestions for replacement plantings of species native to this region. The guide is available for free on our http://millrivergreenway.org website and will also be available in a printed, bound version at cost, $15 per guide (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in purchasing print copies). We’re planning to organize educational and stewardship events along the river this summer to distribute the guide and galvanize the community to care for the river. Stay tuned for more info. We hope we’ll see you out there!
THE CONWAY SCHOOL BOOK WILL BE AVAILABLE BY MAY DAY
We’ve gotten an early peek at Armi and Margot’s work at the Conway School and it looks beautiful. The book, entitled “Building a Strategic Plan for the Mill River Greenway” is 68 pages and chock full of photographs, maps, and data. THANK YOU, Mill River Lovers, this is your gift to the river, and the river will be giving back to you. We can’t wait to get this out to you. Watch this space.
A SELF-GUIDED TOUR BROCHURE FOR FLORENCE
Wendy Sinton of the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee, with the help of Dianne Jester-Wieland (Smith ’16), Julia Franchi Scarselli (Smith ’18), and Florence architect Scott Laidlaw have a draft prepared for a Mill Riverwalk in Florence. Designed once again by the inimitable Rob and Damia of TransitAuthorityFigures.com, we expect to have copies of the brochure early this summer. This is the third brochure in what we hope will someday be a series of ten!
BAY STATE RIVERWALK OPTIONS
Once again, Smith students lived up to their reputation for amazing projects by producing maps and data that summarize parcel data, historical features, and invasive species challenges on the Bay State reach of the river. This work will provide the basis for Bay State residents and the City of Northampton to envision the Greenway from Paradise Pond to the Cutlery Building, as well as gathering the information that will become another self-guided tour brochure. We will post their work on the website in May. Thanks, Julia Graham, Grace Peralta, and Bryn Gingrich for work that will have lasting impact!
ENGINEERING DESIGN FOR THE RAIL TRAIL DISMOUNT TO SOUTH MAIN STREET IN HAYDENVILLE
…speaking of lasting impact, Joanna Kenneally, Sophia Poulos, Jin Rui Yap, and Eliana Perlmutter, Smith seniors working through the Engineering Department’s Design Clinic, have completed an engineering study to link the end of the rail trail in Leeds to South Main Street in Haydenville (Williamsburg). They presented two options, one earthwork and one boardwalk, at a very well attended Community Forum in Williamsburg on April 9. The students’ design and analysis lays the groundwork for Williamsburg to seek the funding that will be required to complete the project. Our deepest gratitude to Smith and the College’s superb students!