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Wilton Man Dreams of a 27-Mile Happy Trail

Bruce Beebe of Wilton envisions a day when it won’t be just nature lovers and cyclists enticed to walk and bike through parks and open space in town and along the proposed 27-mile Norwalk River Valley trail from Norwalk to Danbury.

Beebe, a Wilton resident for 40 years, has headed numerous conservation and open space groups and is among those planning the start of a “long-time dream” to connect open space and nature trails through five towns and cities including Wilton. He believes the trail could attract “a lot of people not ordinarily drawn to experience nature.

The trail would be linked through five towns and cities – Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Wilton and Danbury.

“The more you can connect locations along state and private land for open space, nature walks, bike paths and historic sites – the more people you are going to attract to the trail,” said Beebe. Beebe, 69, is president of the Wilton Land Conservation Trust, a 25-year member of the Weir Preserve Stewardship Committee and a former 10-year veteran and chairman of the town’s Conservation Commission.

He believes a $180,000 federal grant from the National Park Service is making the plan finally come true. “It may take 20 years go finish it all, but you have to start somewhere,” said Beebe, among about 50 people who showed up at Wilton High School Tuesday night for the second of five workshops in the proposed trail’s communities.

Leaders of the trail planning committee made a presentation, and workshops were held to elicit ideas about trail use, location and potential educational activities for children.

John Monroe, of the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, said most of the grant will be used for a major routing study. He said the study will provide “an excellent framework on potential uses, location and ways to connect public and private land along the trail.

Where do you think the trail should be located in Wilton, and what would you use it for? Leave comment below.

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