Housatonic Riverbelt Greenway
HVA develops greenways in more
than a dozen watershed towns
The Housatonic riverfront, winding through an area populated with more than 750,000 people in Massachusetts and Connecticut, plays a vital role in maintaining the health, beauty, and natural diversity of the river ecosystem. Since the Housatonic RiverBelt Greenway program was initiated in 1992, HVA has worked with towns, businesses, private citizens and land trusts, with financial support from many sources, to develop greenways in more than a dozen towns along the Housatonic riverfront. HVA initiated the program to meet the need for increased shoreline land available to the public for recreational use and comprehensive land protection and management along the Housatonic River.
The program's goals are:
- To provide public recreation and promote river stewardship by establishing a "greenway" of continuous walking and biking paths linking open spaces, parks, community centers, and river access points from town to town along the river from Long Island Sound to the river's source north of Pittsfield, Massachusetts; and
- To encourage development strategies within the river corridor consistent with both river conservation and community growth needs.
The greenway is created and built by people living and working in each town, with HVA providing technical support. There are 29 river towns in Connecticut and Massachusetts and HVA is working with almost all of them. In 1997 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented HVA with an Environmental Merit Award for the Housatonic RiverBelt Greenway program. In 2000 the Connecticut Greenways Council recognized HVA's Greenway for its innovative approach to land protection.
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