Fairfield County realtors are helping make the extension of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) more of a reality.

The Mid Fairfield County Board of Realtors (MFCAR) has donated an additional $6,000 to the NRVT, bringing the group’s recent donations to a total of $10,000. The donation couldn’t have come at a better time–the NRVT is in a critical fundraising period.

Over the past 12 months, the Friends of the NRVT have been developing detailed plans for a two-mile section of trail connecting Wilton and Norwalk, nicknamed “WilWalk.” The WilWalk section will be funded by a $1.3 million CT DEEP grant, but the Friends of the NRVT is committed to raise a required match of $264,000, with a deadline of May 1 to raise the funds or else the state grant is at risk. Final plans and permits will be secured in the coming months and construction will begin this fall of 2018–but only if the funds are in place by May 1.

There is still significant private fundraising that needs to be done. Donations to date total $85,000, leaving the Friends to raise another $179,000. Patricia Sesto, president of the Friends of the NRVT, acknowledges, “We have the grant in hand, but also have a big fundraising challenge.”

Realtor Peg Koellmer of Wilton’s Realty Seven is the president of MFCAR, and knows well the benefit of the NRVT.

“The NRVT is a tremendous asset to the community, providing families a safe place to hike, dog walk, bike and jog. We’re excited to see the next section built and we’re delighted to help.”

Elizabeth Boscaino of Wilton’s Halstead Property, and chairman of MFCAR’s “Giving Back” effort, hosted five fundraising events over the past three years that, along with the support of other board members, made the donation possible.

“With the generosity of the Mid Fairfield County Board of Realtors,” Sesto adds, “we are encouraged that our goal is attainable.”

One of the stated targets on the NRVT website is donations from corporations along the route, who it’s hoped will appreciate the NRVT’s value to employees.

The two-mile WilWalk segment of the NRVT will run from Wolfpit Rd. to Grist Mill Rd., largely within ConnDOT’s Super 7 right-of-way and power line corridor.

Individuals and companies interested in contributing can do so through the trail’s website or by mail at P.O. Box 174, Georgetown, CT 06829.  Questions should be directed to Charlie Taney, the NRVT’s executive director via email or by calling 203.536.5618.

Pictured above (L-R) on the NRVT:  Elizabeth Boscaino, Halstead Property, Wilton; Pat Sesto, President Friends of the NRVT; Nancy Peden Manby, William Raveis, Norwalk; Viveka Kjellgren, William Raveis, Westport; Carol Heins, Mid-Fairfield County Association of Realtors, Westport