|Mariann Millard||Chair||Term Expires: 2020|
|Melissa O'Brien||Vice Chair||Term Expires: 2020|
|Nancy Bozek||Member||Term Expires: 2020|
|Larry Dubois||Member||Term Expires: 2020|
|Lucia Foley||Member||Term Expires: 2020|
|Marilyn Gass||Member||Term Expires: 2020|
|Margaret Jodoin||Member||Term Expires: 2020|
The South Hadley Bike/Walk Committee was first formed as a working group of the Sustainability and Energy Commission. In September 2015, the Committee was formally appointed as an advisory group to the Selectboard. Members are appointed annually. Our goals include the development of bike/walk routes throughout our community and a safe connection between the Center and the Falls. We work with the Selectboard, Conservation Commission and other local groups, and connect with similar groups in our area and across the state. The Committee is working to support implementation of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s bike/walk master plan for South Hadley.
While we normally meet at 7:00pm on the third Wednesday of the month at the South Hadley Public Library, the Bike/Walk Committee has suspended in-person meetings as of March, 2020 in response to state and local COVID-19 guidance.
To reach the Bike/Walk Committee or to be added to our email distribution list to stay updated on Bike/Walk events, Treks, and news, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on biking in Massachusetts, visit: MassBike Pioneer Valley and Mass Bike.
BWC is Seeking a New Committee Member
Want to be part of a fun, cohesive and productive group passionate about walking and biking in Town? Want to make a difference for current and future residents in their quality of life? Come join us as a volunteer committee member!
As a Town-appointed advisory committee to the Selectboard, we meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 7 PM at the Main Library. Our meetings are never boring in our quest to improve and/or enhance walking and biking initiatives, and we partner often with other committees, commissions, groups and Town Hall. BWC committee members need to be residents of South Hadley. Questions? Please email email@example.com.
An online application and information on other volunteer committee positions in South Hadley is available elsewhere on the Town website.
Treks are currently on hold
Our Treks are currently canceled in response to state guidance on COVID-19 and social distancing. While we are not offering group Treks at this time, many of our outdoor resources can be utilized. A list of trail maps to download and details on COVID-19 Trail Etiquette can be found below.
For the past few years the Bike/Walk Committee (BWC) has offered free, public, guided Treks from September to May to explore local conservation lands and other resources. Treks have normally been scheduled on Sundays at 1:00 pm with participants gathering at 12:45 pm and new Trekkers are always welcomed. We do not schedule Treks in June, July, and August, and all events are subject to change or cancellation due to weather.
For information or to receive notices about upcoming Treks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Treks included:
- December 2019: Forest Trail of the Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation Area (canceled due to weather)
- November 2019: Leaping Well Nature Trail
- October 2019 (Go4LifeStroll): River to Range Loop Trail
- September 2019: Project Stream Restoration Area at the MHC Campus
Trek maps to download
- Sidewalk Scenic Trail Trek Map-Senior Center/Black Stevens Loop (PDF)
- Black Stevens Conservation Area Trail Map-2018 (PDF)
- Mount Holyoke College Trail System Map (PDF)
- Mount Holyoke College Campus Map (map.mtholyoke.edu)
- Ledges Golf Course Paths Map (PDF)
Note: COVID-19 closure for golf as well as dog-walking, hiking, and biking to prevent further damage to the grounds and greens. (The club has experienced physical damage, vandalism, theft, and dogs have caused significant damage).
- Bynan Conservation Area Trail Map (PDF)
- Walking the Falls | South Hadley Falls walks and historical info (PDF)
- River-to-Range Loop and Bachelor-Stoney Brook Conserv. Maps (PDF)
- Bagg-Pierce Wildlife Sanctuary Trail and Ortho Map (PDF)
- Leaping Well Nature Trail Map (PDF)
- Ashley Reservioir-Holyoke Trek (PDF)
Visit the Conservation Lands section of the website for more trail maps of South Hadley Conservation Lands.
To receive notices with details about upcoming Treks, email email@example.com.
News and Notes
Ledges Golf Course is currently closed for golf and ALL other uses
During the COVID-19 closure the ledges Golf Course is closed as a ’non-essential’ golfing business. The grounds are also closed for passive recreation on its paths, including dog-walking, hiking, and biking. While his is sure to be a disappointment for all of us who responsibly enjoy the grounds when golfing is not in season, the Club has been experiencing physical damage, vandalism and theft, including people not cleaning up after their dogs (leashed and unleashed) and traversing over the greens with bikes and on foot. This has already resulted in a hefty amount of damage dollar-wise. Please help spread the word that the Club is closed to everyone until further notice and when it does open, it will be to start the golfing season. Thank you for your understanding and for always being responsible “trekkers!”
COVID-19 Trail Etiquette
If you’re out on our trails in town, please make sure you automatically give everyone you may meet a wide berth (at least 6 feet apart) to maintain safe social distancing. Please don’t group or congregate at any time in any place, even with folks you socially know. Distance is key! If you see anything untoward on the trails, e.g. vandalism, obvious motorized use (including what appears to be constructed ramps and/or oddly placed structures), garbage or other debris, fallen trees across paths, etc., please send us a note to report the concern at, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Conservation Land Management Panel-CANCELLED
This event has been cancelled for 3.16.20 and will be rescheduled at a later time.
You are welcome to a moderated panel discussion with land conservation professionals and landowners who have conserved their forestland. Meet land trust staff, land management professionals, and dedicated conservationists--and network with other Open Space Committees and Conservation Commissions from area Towns. The event will take place on Monday, March 16 at 6:30 PM in the Community Room at the South Hadley Public Library located at 2 Canal Street, South Hadley, MA. The event is free and all are welcome to attend (please fill out the survey below to register). Desserts will be served!
Conservation Networking Event Survey:
Whether you plan to attend or not, your opinion matters! Please fill out a brief survey ahead of the event (and to register) and so that we can better tailor the content to your community’s needs and interests.Kestrel Land Trust is working to provide better information and support to town conservation leaders. To inform our group’s work, we are conducting a survey to learn more about the concerns, needs, and perspectives of people interested in local conservation and management at: SURVEY LINK.
Additional information: masswoods.org/future-my-land/open-space-committees
This event is hosted by the Kestrel Land Trust. This effort funded by the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Working Forests Initiative with support from UMass Extension Service and Mount Grace Land Trust.
Doo your Duty!
Help prevent water pollution and health risks caused by pet waste by taking the Pick Up Poop (PUP) Pledge today, an initiative of Connecticut River Stormwater Committee. For details, visit: thinkblueconnecticutriver.org/pet-waste-management
New Hands-Free Law Takes Effect Feb. 23rd
Beginning Sunday, February 23, 2020 drivers in Massachusetts cannot use an electronic device unless it is being used in hands-free mode. The intent of the Hands-Free Law is to help keep the public, including pedestrians and bikers, safe from distracted drivers. Punishment for violating the new law includes a $100 fine for a first violation, a $250 fine for a second offense, and a $500 fine for a third or subsequent offense. Additional requirements for completion of an educational program apply to second and subsequent offenses; third or subsequent offenses are surchargeable incidents. Additional details about the law are available on the South Hadley website and at: www.mass.gov/service-details/hands-free-law.
UMass-Amherst Tick Report Service
The University of Massachusetts College of Natural Sciences offers a Tick Report lab service for identification and testing for pathogens. For details, visit: https://www.tickreport.com
New ValleyBike station opens near Woodlawn Plaza
ValleyBike is continuing to grow in South Hadley! The newest bike station opened recently at 494 Newton Street, outside PeoplesBank, across from Woodlawn Plaza. The new, which is on Route 116 just north of the lights at Route 33, is fully stocked with bikes ready to rent.
ValleyBike Share sets you free to explore Pioneer Valley (Amherst, UMass campus, Holyoke, Northampton, South Hadley and Springfield) on two wheels . These communities, along with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, have contracted a collaboration and partnership with Bewegen Technologies and Corps Logistics to bring bike share to our region. To meet Pioneer Valley’s unique challenges, ValleyBike Share is designed to promote short bike trips within core communities, where clusters of large employers, colleges, shopping, tourist destinations and residents can readily be connected. Learn more at www.valleybike.org or on the ValleyBike Facebook page.
South Hadley Volunteer Conservation Corps
Many kudos and a big thank-you to Conservation Administrator/Planner Anne Capra and her recently formed Volunteer Conservation Corps. The Volunteer Conservation Corps is comprised of residents who volunteer their time to assist with improving, enhancing and maintaining our trails in town, mostly on town-owned Conservation Area Lands. Please consider volunteering to keep the Conservation Corps a robust group! All are welcome.
Staff writer Dalton Zbierski of the Town Reminder recently reported on the South Hadley Conservation Corps and partnerships among Town stakeholders:
8/16/2019--Pg 2: Land stewardship grows through interdepartmental efforts
Email email@example.com with your name/contact information to be apprised of ongoing opportunities. Any task you can do and any time you can give are valuable.
Leaping Well Nature Trail
In January of 2018, Town Meeting voted to move forward on the BWC proposal to create a small neighborhood trail system on the former Toth property owned by the Town. The Trail name is taken from the Leaping Well Brook on the property.
Staff writer Dalton Zbierski recently reported on the Trail in the Town Reminder:
8/2/2019--Pg 1: Residents Maintain Leaping Well Nature Trail
Work on the trail started last fall and has continued through the spring and summer, with mulch and wood chips added to improve the trail’s surface and experience of using it. Anne Capra, Conservation Administrator/Planner received technical assistance from a wildlife biologist at MassDFW to develop a habitat management plan for the property to use as the foundation for stewardship of the property. A temporary kiosk sign was put in place in the spring in advance of a permanent sign due later in the summer. The public entrance and a small, crescent-shaped parking lot are located on Mosier Street.
We are grateful for all the volunteers who have worked with at the Leaping Well Nature Trail in recent months, including the Brownie and Junior Girl Scout Troop 40398 led by Michelle Wolfe and Laurie and Brian Dimock.
Previous news on the Leaping Well Nature Trail:
WWLP-22News: New pedestrian trail coming to South Hadley (video) 10/23/18
Located off Ferry Street, the River-to-Range Trail is a one-mile, ADA-accessible path that is part of the Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation Area. The loop and associated trailhead parking lot are adjacent to the Mount Holyoke College’s boathouse at 240 Ferry Street, South Hadley. The trail loops around the outer edges of a hayfield with seasonal views of the Connecticut River, then through a forested section overlooking the floodplain of Bachelor Brook. The trail is open to non-motorized use and designed to accommodate mobility for impaired people and features a compacted crushed aggregate surface for easy walking. Four sitting areas with informational signage are spaced throughout the route. The loop represents the first phase of a three-phase scenic trail project, for which grants and other matching funds have already been secured.
For more information, email Anne Capra, Conservation Administrator/Planner or call (413) 538-5017 x208.
New Valley Flyer Train Service along the Knowledge Corridor
Amtrak and MassDOT launched a new state-supported pilot program on August 30, 2019 offering 7-day a week passenger service between Greenfield and New Haven with scheduled connections to NYC. In the Valley, trains will make station stops in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, and Greenfield. The service, which is designed to allow riders to travel south to NYC in the morning and return by train in the evening, will be provided until fall 2021 on a pilot basis. If annual ridership goals are met, the service will continue and could be expanded. The Holyoke train stop at 74 Main Street in Holyoke is a short bike ride from South Hadley; the R29 Holyoke/Amherst Route 116 bus stops across the street; free parking and cab services are also available.
Tickets are now available and can be found on Amtrak.com, the Amtrak app, Amtrak ticket desks and kiosks, and through 1-800-USA-RAIL. A 25% discount off the Amtrak ’Value’ or ’Flexible’ fare is available when traveling on the Valley Flyer until October 31, 2019. To use the discount, enter Promo Code v459 when booking a your ticket.
More information about the Valley Flyer, the Hartford Line, East-West rail status, and other Pioneer Valley rail news can be found at: TrainsInTheValley.org.
Route 116/Newton Street Reconstruction and Resurfacing
Planned work on Newton Street in the area between Route 202 and the Kendrick Street intersection will bring new sidewalks and crosswalks, and ADA compliant ramps. An on-road buffered bicycle lane is also planned along the majority of the corridor, which is home to South Hadley High School and the Woodlawn neighborhood, where construction will begin soon on the new South Hadley Senior Center. More: Additional Project Details
Bike/Walk Committee at Middle School Health Fair
Grade 8 students from Michael E. Smith Middle School organized a Health Fair on May 30 featuring student exhibits, local officials, and others involved with various aspects of health in the community. A display by Grade 8 student Esther Ngure, who helped coordinate the event, showcased the work of Bike-Walk Committee, and some BWC members were on hand to talk with students and see their handiwork. More: www.townreminder.turley.com/tr-archives/tr06.07.19.pdf
South Hadley Social Strollers
The Social Strollers walking group program at the Senior Center offers experienced leaders to guide participants through the neighborhoods surrounding the center and beyond. Participants in the free program have walked twice a week, with a goal of increasing a walk time a bit during each session. Former Bike-Walk Committee member Huguette Supinski is a primary volunteer leader for the program. For more information, call the South Hadley Senior Center at (413) 538-5042.
South Hadley Complete Streets Prioritization Plan
The South Hadley Complete Streets initiative, which is supported by the BWC, involves sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic calming, crosswalks, pedestrian signals, bus stop improvements and other related projects. The Prioritization Plan and Final Project List are available as PDF documents:
- South Hadley Complete Streets Prioritization Plan (PDF)
- South Hadley Complete Streets Final Project List (PDF)
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s
South Hadley Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
The South Hadley Comprehensive Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is complete. The report charts a plan for short-and-long-term improvements to South Hadley’s hiking, biking and walking networks. It is the culmination of several years of work including extensive analysis of South Hadley’s transportation networks, public outreach, and work with a dedicated committee of Town Staff and volunteers.