August 2 ‘First Saturday’ Walk in Branford

Farm River estuary view from promontaryJoin us on Saturday, August 2 at 10 am for a hike beginning at the Hearth at Gardenside in Branford.  SGT team members will lead a hike through woods and alongside marshes that end in a small promontory with a beautiful view of the Farm River Estuary and the Shoreline Trolley museum trolley track.  A relatively short one-hour hike over terrain not suitable for strollers.  Meet and park along Katie Jo Lane opposite the entrance to the Hearth at Gardenside. 

Directions:  I 95 Exit 54 (Cedar Street), head toward Route 1; right at the light, continue past Branhaven Plaza on your left; Alps Road is your next left at the light.  Hearth at Gardenside c. one mile on right.

Questions:  Judy 203-589-8335. 

Getting Branford Children Outdoors

During the final weeks of school, several groups of fifth grade students at Branford’s Francis Walsh Middle School had a chance to get out of the classroom, get some exercise, and learn about sights along the Shoreline Greenway Trail (SGT).Led by SGT volunteers and accompanied by their teachers, Dawn Corcoran and Robin Axtell, as well as several parents, groups of students walked along the section of trail paralleling Birch Road and part of the proposed section on the Tabor Property, west of Pine Orchard Road.

Along the way, they visited the Community Gardens, where they were given a tour by President Malaine Trecoske. There they learned about the kinds of flowers and food plants grown by residents as well as the “Seed, Weed, and Feed Garden,” the produce from which goes to the Community Dining Room. Crossing Pine Orchard Road, they walked along Chet’s Pond, learning about the history of the pond and the property and viewing an Osprey nest on top of the cell tower on the opposite side of the pond.

One of the student groups was lucky enough to spot the Osprey returning to its nest. The students also learned about, and got a distant view of, “Mount Trashmore,” the landfill that will soon be topped by a picnic area and gazebo. On the return hike, they saw an outdoor classroom, currently overgrown but soon to be cleared and restored to useful condition by a boy scout working on his Eagle Scout project.

SGT Volunteer Leo Cristofar led the students, ably assisted by SGT co-chairs Chet Blomquist and Judy Miller. Chet’s Pond was officially named by the Board of Selectmen to honor Mr Blomquist, a retired physical education teacher, for his many years of trail creation throughout the town.


A beautiful day for a trolley ride

On June 7, the Branford and East Haven Shoreline Greenway Trail teams partnered with the  Shore Line Trolley Museum for a wonderful celebration of Connecticut Trails Day.  Over 100 people enjoyed a free ride on restored trolley cars followed by a walk along the cleared proposed Shoreline Greenway Trail section to the former Farm River bridge crossing.  SGT leaders shared plans for a bridge linking East Haven to Branford .   The friendly Trolley conductors provided riders with a history of the area and the Trolley.  On the return trip to the Trolley Museum, walkers passed the remains of a former stone-crushing plant and learned about its history.  Thanks to Leo Cristofar, who led the group from the first Trolley car on the hike and to Peg Stamp, who led the second Trolley car group.   Thanks also to Jo Zaehringer, Chet Blomquist, Barbara Brow, Mike Gambardella, and Peggy Thomas for setting up tables, signing in attendees, assisting on the walks and doing everything necessary to make the day a big success~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On June 14, the Shoreline Greenway Trail will have a table at the Branford Festival on the Branford Green.  Come visit us – we enjoy sharing the good news of our progress!

May in Branford

We had some fun events in Branford this late April and May! On April 27, the Branford Shoreline Greenway Trail participated with Branford Early Childhood Collaborative, the Branford Recreation Center, the Branford school district, the Branford police, and Zane’s Cycle to sponsor a bicycle rodeo.

Branford Bicycle Rode 04/27/14

Lining up for Bike Inspection by Zanes

Branford Bike Rodeo 4/2014

Lining up to ride the obstacle course

Branford Bicycle Rode 04/27/14

Having fun free riding

Despite the gloomy, chilly, windy weather, the Bicycle Rodeo was a success, with about 50 children registering, having their bikes checked by Zane’s, learning safety signals from the Branford Police, and going through the obstacle course in order to earn a certificate of completion. The atmosphere was brightened with popcorn, helmet decorating, button making, and a Branford fire truck. Chet Blomquist, Jack Wood, and Judy Miller greeted people at the SGT table and passed out bicycle safety book marks, etc.

Walking with the 3rd graders

What a great walk!

On May 22, Leo Cristofar led a group of 3rd graders on the Shoreline Greenway Trail near the Tabor property stopping at Chet’s Pond. Again, it was a dreary day, but some fun was had by all!