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Western New England Greenway Conference
Saturday November 16, 2013

Register Now!

There is no cost to attend, and your input is needed. Join us as we continue to plan a contiguous bike trail from New York City to Montreal. Download the DRAFT Agenda here.

  • What: Western New England Greenway Conference
  • When: Saturday, November 16th - 10 AM to 3:30 PM
  • Where: Bennington Museum, Bennington Vermont

Please let us know if you'll attend! Please fill out the registration form here, or call / email us.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided - The conference is free of charge. For more information: call 860-435-9505 or e-mail: Info@HousatonicHeritage.org

 


2014 HOUSATONIC HERITAGE HISTORY WALKS:  
Saturday & Sunday,  Sept. 20 & 21 and Oct 4 & 5

Featured each year are: short walks, longer hikes, walking tours of towns and historical buildings, nature and birding walks, tours of industrial site ruins, and a canoe trip on the Housatonic River. Local historians, naturalists, and environmentalists will help participants explore:

  • The Housatonic River
  • The history of the villages and towns in the region as expressed in archaeological and industrial sites, architecture, bridges, and monuments
  • Both prominent and unsung geological, ornithological and horticultural resources, and
  • Splendid autumn foliage vistas.


 Greenagers Became the Official Stewards of the Trail
Housatonic River Walk Celebrated its 25th Anniversary with Sept. 8, 2012, Riverside Celebration:
 

The Great Barrington Housatonic River Walk—Berkshire County’s National Recreation Trail—celebrated its 25th anniversary on September 8, and formalized its partnership with Greenagers, the local organization that actively fosters the ethics of service and stewardship in area youth.

The riverside festival was held at the  Du Bois River Garden park at Church and River Streets, where the baton was passed to River Walk’s next generation of stewards. New kiosk panels by the Main Street entrance fully reflect River Walk's past 25 years of trailmaking, cleanup and ecological activities. New interpretive stations in the Du Bois River Garden park now tell the story of W.E.B. Du Bois’s environmental advocacy and his special regard for the Housatonic River. The new signage was funded by a generous grant from Housatonic Heritage.

River Walk, which has been a model of community involvement, will take that commitment to a whole new level through its partnership with Greenagers while ensuring that the trail receives the care and stewardship that will sustain it for many years to come. With River Walk as their laboratory, the teens will learn landscaping and trail building skills in a direct and real-world way.  They will gain experience in managing trail improvements, riverbank reclamation and educational outreach. 

River Walk’s founding director Rachel Fletcher says, “Placing this treasured community resource in the hands of our local young people is what River Walk is all about. This is an empowering gift to give teens at this moment in our nation's history.”

Greenagers director Will Conklin says, “As River Walk and Greenagers grow together, our young people learn about our cultural heritage and best practices in horticulture, water quality and trail development.  At the same time, River Walk benefits from the Greenagers’ energy, creativity, and vision.”

For information about Greenagers, visit www.greenagers.org or call Will Conklin at 413-644-9090.


2012 Annual Report is available!

 Download the current Annual Report that includes in-depth descriptions of all Housatonic Heritage programs.  (Annual reports for prior years found here.)


The African American Heritage Trail  guide titled..."W. E. B. DU BOIS IN GT. BARRINGTON, MA"

This trail guide is a self-guided walking tour of 17 sites around Gt. Barrington, reveling the town's people and places, as Du Bois recalled them.
The Friends of the Du Bois Homesite, with the Du Bois Center of UMass Amherst Libraries, works to restore the W. E. B. Du Bois Boyhood Homesite as a public memorial to the Gt. Barrington native who became a leading scholar and activist in the civil rights movement in the U.S. and around the world.

To receive a copy, contact  info@AfricanAmericanTrail.org   or  info@DuBoisHomesite.org


"HouBike" Trail - Housatonic Covered Bridge Bicycle Trail - 2011 

A bicycle trail has been proposed that would connect nine Litchfield County communities along the Housatonic River. The Housatonic Covered Bridge Bike Trail would use the old river roads that parallel the Housatonic, and typically have little traffic. Relative to the rest of the area, the river roads have very few hills, making for a more enjoyable ride. The proposed “HouBike” Trail is approximately 45 miles long, and would run from Ashley Falls, MA to New Milford, CT.

Nine towns would be included in the route, including Salisbury, North Canaan, Canaan, Sharon, West Cornwall, Cornwall, Warren, Kent, Sherman and New Milford.  Numerous side routes are being considered so that the main route would connect to village centers and other heritage sites throughout the region.  The Trail would also connect an impressive list of local attractions, including: Bartholomew’s Cobble, the Great Falls in Falls Village, Dean Ravine and the Covered Bridge in Cornwall, Kent Falls State Park, the Sloane – Stanley Museum / Connecticut Antique Machinery Association, the ledges at the Schaghticoke Indian Reservation, Bulls Bridge and its gorge, and Sega Meadows in New Milford.


Kent Biking Trail Map and Brochure Available for free...

The CT Committee has prepared a Kent Trails map and brochure that depicts 5 biking loop trails within that town. Details within the brochure include turn-by-turn directions, a map, description and elevation change. These details will help bicyclists to determine the suitability of a particular trail for their biking ability level. This map and brochure will serve as a pilot project for similar matching brochures that could be developed in municipalities throughout the Upper Housatonic Valley. 


Heritage Area Publication Available for Purchase

AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE:
A Historical Life--Journey of African Americans in The Berkshires, and Its' Most Influential Woman.

 The Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail has published  “One Minute a Free Woman: Elizabeth Freeman and the Struggle for Freedom”. Written by research librarian Emilie Piper and anthropologist Dr. David Levinson, the book was published in June 2010 by the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area / African American Heritage Trail. 

Based on three years of research in Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut, the book takes readers on a journey of heart and mind across time, place, families, and communities. This journey begins with the life of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, perhaps the best-known and most influential woman to come from the Berkshires. Freeman is remembered today because of her successful suit for freedom in 1781, which helped end slavery in Massachusetts. The book provides readers with the first thorough and accurate account of Elizabeth Freeman's life, the lives of her descendants in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and histories of Black communities in the Berkshires and neighboring New York State and Connecticut from the mid-1790s to late 1800s.

Freeman’s life is the starting point for the book’s broad and in-depth exploration of the lives of other Black families and other Black communities as they formed and changed over time in Sheffield, Stockbridge, Lenox, and Norfolk.

 272 pages,  50 illustrations and maps... Cost $24.50 .....access the African American Heritage Trail  website    http://www.africanamericantrail.org/


 

 

What's Happening

What's Happening