The Norwalk River Valley Trail Board is set to begin the process of extending the trail in Wilton, north of Skunk Lane. With a recent generous donation from residents Cliff and Norma Fox, the funding goal has been met to start the pre-construction work.
As long time users of and donors to the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT), Cliff and Norma Fox have been longing for the trail to extend past its current stopping point at Skunk Lane. The Foxes reached out to Charlie Taney, president of the Friends of the NRVT, and asked what it would take to start work on the next section. While some initial donations had been made, a funding gap remained for the pre-construction work for the one-mile Skunk-to-Pimpewaug section. The Foxes stepped up and made a substantial leadership donation to fund the pre-construction work and substantially reduce the timeline for trail construction.
“Norma and I enjoy the NRVT and are big believers in the trail’s contribution to the health and well-being of the Wilton community. It’s a great asset to our Town,” Cliff Fox said. “We want to see the Wilton Loop completed and are delighted we can help get this next section underway.”
The leadership donation by the Fox family, in combination with donations from the DePeugh and Santa Servco families, and an anonymous family, will fund the $116,000 in pre-construction work for the Skunk-Pimpewaug section. The pre-construction work includes surveying, permitting, environmental assessments, and engineering plans required by Wilton’s Wetland Commission and the Department of Transportation.
“The NRVT is blessed to have the support of the Foxes and the other families who value the NRVT,” Taney said. We can now move immediately on the pre-construction elements for the Skunk-Pimpewaug section.”
Raising funds for pre-construction work is notably more difficult than fundraising for actual construction. According to Taney, this fact makes the donations all the more impressive and reinforces the vision and commitment of these donors.
The donations will also jumpstart the $460,000 fundraising campaign for construction of the 800-foot boardwalk across extensive wetlands just north of Skunk Lane and the 300-feet of trail connecting the current ending point at Skunk Lane to the new boardwalk. Patricia Sesto, former NRVT Board President, added, “This section will be outstanding as the boardwalk takes users deep into a rich and hearty wetland. Many people will be seeing this type of environment for the first time and are going to be thrilled.” Depending on the speed at which the $460,000 can be raised, the boardwalk could be built in 2021.
People interested in donating to the trail construction are asked to visit the NRVT website.
About Friends of the NRVT
Friends of the NRVT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, dedicated to the creation of a thirty-mile, multi-use, soft surface trail running from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk, through Wilton, Ridgefield, and Redding, terminating at Rogers Park in Danbury.