We fixed up the stairs on Riverview Trail that were rotting last Saturday. The original steps were installed about 14 years ago & were not pressure treated wood, so some of them had seen better days. We replaced about 12 steps with 6x6's, some iron pins donated by Kelly Walsh, a few dainty taps from an 8 lb. sledgehammer, and some chainsaw work. The steps lead down a steep gravel bank from the Pootatuck Fort monument to the RR tracks. This is a historic link to downtown, and will be a link with the Riverwalk when it gets constructed up to the canal locks.
Cherri Dziubina, Luis Isaza, Bill Dyer, Jim Taradine, and Terry Gallagher were the busy elves this morning. Rich Skudlarek & Bill picked up all the timbers and dropped them off last night.
The crew braved poison ivy & other brush to clear out the bottom of the stairs and the old historic "Bluff Walk" that runs behind the baseball diamond. A new sign has been posted on the fence by the Centenial Oak tree showing the cut off to the Bluff Walk. This is the walk that shows up in Shelton postcards from the 1890's with gentlemen in straw hats, and ladies in hoop skirts watching the rowing races. It's really pretty back there and we hope more people get a chance to enjoy Riverview Trail.
We had a good time talking to Kathy Chacon from the Valley Independent Sentinel about working on the trail system & Riverview Trail in particular. Her article about our trail project can be found on their website here: http://valley.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/shelton_volunteers_clear_the_way/ Our next step here will be to remove oak leaves and improve signs along the trail. We also need to replace some more steps, but we fixed up the worst ones.
A visit to the park on Sunday showed that the steps held up well in last night's rain. We also saw a number of fish, ducks, and a muskrat in the Canal at the foot of the stairs. The public walk out to the Dam is an attractive & underused area in Shelton. The park was being enjoyed by a number of folks at the tot playground, the basketball courts, and picnicing at the Veteran's Memorial. The Trail is a really pretty walk that can be combined with a stroll on the paved drive within the park or on the sidewalk along River Road to make a pleasant loop around one of the Valley's oldest parks with good views of the Housatonic River. Visit www.sheltontrails.org for maps of the trail & other historical information. Have fun enjoying Riverview Trail & maybe we'll see you at our next work party.