Friends of rail trail create information brochure
Date: 5/1/2012May 2, 2012
By Debbie Gardnerdebbieg@thereminder.com
WESTFIELD It's been a long labor of love for rail trail supporters, but now information is available to everyone who wants to know more about the long-awaited bicycle and pedestrian walkway that will soon traverse Westfield.
On April 26, the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail (FOCGRT) delivered their first shipment of informational brochures about the project to various locations in and around the city.
"We've been working on it for awhile," Jeffrey LaValley, chair of the FOCGRT Board of Directors told Reminder Publications
. "We're stepping up our efforts to get the word out about the project and inform the public about what our Friends group does."
LaValley added that the timing of the brochure, which details the purpose of FOCGRT and the concept behind the multi-modal linear park, which will follow along a portion of the route of the former New York, New Haven and Hartford, Conn., Railroad from Southwick to the Great River Bridge "coincides nicely with the fact that the first stage of [the rail trail] is under construction now."
He said the brochure, which was produced with the aid of an army of sponsors including Columbia Manufacturing Inc., Westfield Business Improvement District (WBID), Westfield Gas & Electric (WG&E), Falcone Realty Property Holdings Westfield, LLC/Rocky's/Ace Hardware and Westfield State University (WSU) Foundation, is available at multiple locations including: the Amelia Park Children's Museum, 29 South Broad St.; the Amelia Park Ice Arena, 21 South Broad St.; the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield, 28 West Silver St.; the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, 53 Court St.; New Horizon Sports, 55 Franklin St.; Noble Hospital, 115 West Silver St. and Park Square Realty, 44 Elm St.
Brochures are also available at: Shaker Farms Country Club, 866 Shaker Road; the Westfield Athenaeum, 6 Elm St.; the WBID, 48 Elm St., Suite 5; Westfield City Hall, 59 Court St.; WG&E, 100 Elm St.; WSU, 577 Western Ave.; and the YMCA of Greater Westfield, 67 Court St.
"If any other business or organization in the downtown area would like additional copies, we would be happy to provide them with [brochures] that they can provide to the public," LaValley added.
To obtain brochures, business or individuals can contact the FOCGRT at P.O. Box 595, Westfield, MA 01086-0595; or email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org
LaValley said in addition to contacting FOCGRT for brochures, individuals interested in joining their work, or supporting the rail trail with donations, are also welcome to contact the group.
"We hope the public, if they have any questions, will come to a meeting, or contact us," LaValley said, adding that, because FOCGRT is a 501c-3 non-profit organization, all donations are tax deductible.
General meetings take place on the third Tuesday of each month (except July and August) at Shaker Farms Country Club.
"We're always looking for more members and the support of people in the community will only help to advance our mission, which is to create a bicycle and pedestrian friendly Westfield," LaValley added.
Noble Hospital, Park Square Realty, Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, and Westfield on Weekends made additional contributions to the rail trail brochure project.