REI, the outdoor gear and clothing co-op with a store in Norwalk, has given the Norwalk River Watershed Association (NRWA) a $5,000 grant to create and print new hiking trail maps of the 40,000-acre Norwalk River Watershed area. The new maps will highlight completed and future sections of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) system that will eventually stretch 38 miles from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk to Danbury along the Norwalk River. The map will also include spur trails off the NRVT as well as hiking areas open to the public across the seven watershed towns—Norwalk, Wilton, New Canaan, Weston, Redding, Ridgefield and Lewisboro, NY.

In addition REI and NRWA will partner with other local organizations to host two volunteer trail stewardship events in Wilton that are open to the public. At the first event on Saturday, September 24, from 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m., volunteers will help build a new section of trail at Quarry Head Park. The second event will take place on Saturday, October 8, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and volunteers will remove invasive plant species and then plant native plants supplied by REI at Horseshoe Park in Wilton.

Saturday, September 24, 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Trail Building At Quarry Head Park in Wilton:  Help build a new section of hiking trail! Twenty-five (or more!) able-bodied people are needed to re-route the red trail from the picnic area to the brook. Everything will be provided:  gloves, tools, lunch and drinks (watermelon and cookies, too). Training session in tool safety and “benching” begins at 8:45 a.m.. This event is cosponsored by REI, Norwalk River Watershed Association (NRWA) and the Wilton Conservation Commission. Sign up via email or call Donna at 203.834.0128.

Saturday, October 8, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Trail Restoration at Horseshoe Park, Wilton:  Help remove invasive plants and then plant native plants along the newly opened section of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT) along Horseshoe Pond in Wilton. REI and Norwalk River Watershed Association (NRWA) will supply tools, gloves and refreshments. This trail stewardship event is cosponsored by REI, NRWA, Wilton Garden Club, Friends of Horseshoe Pond and NRVT. For more information, contact NRWA at 877-NRWA-INFO reach out via email. .