THE SETAUKET - PORT JEFFERSON STATION GREENWAY TRAIL – A HISTORY
What is a Greenway Trail?
A greenway trail is a corridor of protected open space constructed for conservation and recreational purposes. Greenways are sometimes called greenbelts and provide a safe, natural environment for a variety of activities, such as walking, hiking and biking. In some communities, greenways are used as alternative paths to commuting to school, work or just getting around.
Why build a Greenway in our area? During the 1960’s, the State Department of Transportation acquired a 3.3-mile stretch of property for a Route 25A Bypass that would alleviate traffic in the East Setauket and Port Jefferson Village area. This undeveloped 150 foot corridor began on Route 25A near the Setauket Post Office and reached to Hallock Road near the Blockbuster store in Port Jefferson Station. More than a decade ago, members of the Civic Association of the Setaukets and government officials began working together to determine how best to use this stretch of public property. This three-mile area includes old growth forest, old farmland, and three county parks. Many residents were concerned that the State would go ahead with a proposal to pave over this land to build the bypass. Fortunately, community leaders, government officials and the State Department of Transportation have worked together to envision a greenbelt for this area!
How is the project being funded?
State funding was made available to initiate this project due to the efforts of Assemblyman Steven Englebright. Recently, Congressman Timothy Bishop was successful in obtaining five million dollars in federal funding for the project. This new infusion of money, combined with the funding secured by Assemblyman Englebright, is key to the design and construction of a premier greenway trail that will enhance our beautiful community!
Who will use the Greenway?
The Greenway will be open to hikers, joggers, bikers, and walkers. Motorized vehicles will be
prohibited. The Setauket- Port Jefferson Station Greenway Trail will provide miles of outdoor recreational space and will link together several important parts of the community. Special efforts have been made to preserve the natural habitat and vegetation so that trail users will enjoy the natural beauty that exists along this three-mile
stretch. The Setauket-Port Jefferson Greenway Trail runs along a sand- mined area that has now become county parkland. Through the efforts of Suffolk County Legislator Vivian Viloria-Fisher, The Boys and Girls Club of America has received approval to establish a community center and playing fields on this parkland. The Boys and Girls Club and other community organizations using these yet to be built facilities may prove to be important partners in the care and maintenance of the greenway!
Who is the Greenway Task Force? The Greenway Task Force was formed several years ago to help design the bike trail. Open to all community residents, a special effort was made to include town, county and state officials, community and service group representatives, bike club and greenbelt representatives and ‘stakeholders’ who lived along the NYS DOT Right of Way. More than fifty representatives were part of the Task Force. The goals of the Greenway Task were
to: protect our open space and preserve an important corridor in our community promote recreational
opportunities provide a safe alternative to using our roadway.The Greenway Task Force has spent several years carefully developing the projected use of the Route 25A Bypass. A year was spent considering various uses and designs for the trail. Members of the Task Force walked the right-of-way and discussed other greenbelts. Another year was spent in holding neighborhood meetings to generate new ideas, suggestions and comments on the Task Forces conceptual ideas. At the current time, the Task Force recommendations and plans are being used by the NYSDOT in the final design of the trail. The building of the trail is scheduled to start in 2007.
Are Greenways safe?
Greenways have continued to grow in popularity throughout our country. They prove to be safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities. There are no studies or reports associating greenbelts with unsafe conditions or crime.
How can I help in this community project? Many of you are familiar with the Three Village Community Trust – a local not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of our natural resources, and our heritage through the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic sites and structures. A major goal of the Trust is the conservation and preservation of our community’s open spaces – including woodlands, farmland, native flora and fauna, and topography. Another goal of the Trust is the stewardship and management of publicly owned properties. Within this framework, the Trust has now established a Friends of the Greenway Trail to help monitor, maintain, and enhance the new greenway. Currently there are about sixty community residents who form a core pool of volunteers. Become a Friend of the Greenway Trail! As a member you will have an opportunity to continue your participation in this important project.
YES, I’D LIKE TO BECOME A FRIEND OF THE SETAUKET- PORT JEFFERSON STATION GREENWAY
Name:____________________________________Address:__________________________________Town and Zip:_____________________________ Telephone:__________________Email________ Mail to: Friends of the
Greenway C/o Three Village Community Trust PO Box 2596Setauket, NY 11733-0763