Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, a cut-off Low Pressure System, and a falling NASA satellite (maybe somebody's trying to tell us something?) failed to stop the Rec Path Celebration from being a success on Saturday.
The start up at Pine Lake drew a good crowd of participants despite the gloomy weather. Over 4" of rain had been forecast for the night before & Saturday morning, but we did not have to use the rain date.
Mayor Mark Lauretti was there to say a few words about the recent improvements to the Recreation Path and citizen efforts. Approximately 2 miles of Rec Path were built & the final key 13 acres of Great Ledge open space purchased this year.
A number of local people were there, including the Dikovsky Family & Terry Jones (second from left). Terry, along with Harriett Wilber, came up with the concept of the Shelton Lakes Recreation Path when they were chairmen of the Conservation Commission over 10 years ago. Our Rec Path is modeled, in part, after the Stowe Vermont RecPath. It's taken a looong while to get this built, but we're getting close to completion.
The Mayor presented an award to Bob Van Egghan of PerkinElmer in recognition of all the volunteer efforts of their staff to help complete finish grading and landscaping along the Rec Path. PerkinElmer sponsored 3 days of work parties for dozens of employees as part of their For the Better campaign.
The Mayor also presented an award to local poultry farmer Basil Dikovsky, who generously donated some of his land to help build the Recreation Path near Wesley Drive. The City also formally renamed the stream that runs along that portion of the RecPath "Basil Brook" in honor of Mr. Dikovsky earlier this year. The Brook is one of the scenic highlights of the Rec Path.
Teresa Gallagher explains how to find the hand-carved stamps for the Rec Path Passports that were handed out. Sassafras Restaurant in Huntington Center was giving participants ice cream cones when they presented their passports at the end.
Tom Harbinson, Conservation Commission Chairman did his auctioneer imitation as part of a charity raffle before the hike began. A number of local businesses and individuals donated prizes for the event & it made for a fun hike - especially for the kids - even the "older kids". Some of the people and businesses that donated things included Beechwood Market, Center Deli, Connecticut Forest & Parks Association, Bill Dyer, Gallagher Family, Gifts on the Green, Tom Harbinson, & Royal Bakery. Sassafras partnered with the Shelton Conservation Commission for the ice cream at the end.
The crowd took off and broke up into groups of runners, bikers, strollers, and dog walkers. The Rec Path was in good shape following last night's storm and there were a lot of people out enjoying it even if they didn't start at Pine Lake. Here are Sandy & Rich overlooking Silent Waters from the top of the dam.
We did pass the debris field from NASA's satellite (at least we think it's theirs). Or it could be part of of '53 Buick.
The debris was clearly marked with an official NASA sign to deter souvenir seekers.
We also want to thank the guys from Pruzinsky & Sons, and Fairview Tree Farm who attended. They did a great job with the recent construction on the Recreation Path; on-time, under budget, & really nice craftsmanship working the Rec Path into the landscape. We got a lot of positive comments about their work. My personal favorite is the section west of the the Iroquois Gas Pipeline.
Basil's son & his dog Flocka were really rubbing it in our face for most of the bike ride. He had run past us while we were biking (we did stop to stamp in and catch some breath), and they had made it to Huntington Center and were running BACK when we showed up at the Lane St. Boardwalk. They were the winners of the Fastest to Huntington Center division.
But the Bike Brigade did make it to Huntington Center and earned the first ice cream cones. And we needed them; the air was pretty thick & we were hot by the time we got there. Thank you Sassafras. Maybe we should have seen the chiropractor too while we were there.
Then after some refreshment we started the ride back to Pine Lake. We passed various groups of walkers on their way to Huntington Center.
A couple of hikers were stamping their passports to earn their ice cream cones.
This is a copy of what the inside of the Passport looked like. Teresa Gallagher carved all the stamps for this event showing scenes along the Rec Path.
The Shelton Police Dept. loaned us some cones and signs along Huntington Street to help with traffic protection; thank you Sergeant Zakowicz. We really need a good concrete sidewalk built here to connect from 90 Huntington St. to Beechwood Market.
Teresa, Biscuit, and Laurie Gianotti from the DEP Greenways Office were the official sweepers making sure everyone made it out alive.
Sandy & Terry posing at the End of the Trail back at Pine Lake starting point. We had a fun 10 mile round trip.
Here's the real End of the Trail Party at the Huntington Street Cafe. It was a good time for everybody. Thanks to all the businesses and individuals who helped make this a fun Shelton Lakes Recreation Path Celebration. Wait until we get the center section completed & can have a real grand opening ceremony next year.