Greenway Grand Opening
Cutting the Ribbon!
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The Derby Greenway was officially opened to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony on both ends of the trail on Derby Day - Sunday, June 25, 2006. Derby Mayor Tony Staffieri led the ceremony which began at the Division Street entrance and proceeded the length of the trail to the Main Street end where a second ribbon was cut. Those in attendance presented with a commemorative token/key chain recognizing the grand opening of the trail presented by the Derby Fitness Challenge committee which is an Internet based tool for tracking a person's exercise.
The trail, which is approximately 1.7 miles in length runs atop the flood control walls on the Naugatuck and Housatonic Rivers and is tied together by the portion of the trail running on O'Sullivan's Island. The trail was funded with federal transportation funding coupled with a local match. The trail links Derby to Ansonia and Shelton and also links the six major bridges in Derby. One of the centerpieces of the trail is the spectacular new pedestrian footbridge on the Housatonic side which provides panoramic views of the Housatonic River. The Grand Opening also marked the presentation of the National Humane Alliance Fountain as the Division Street gateway to the trail. The Fountain which is 100 years old in 2006 is being restored with a targeted completion date of Memorial Day, 2006. It was dedicated in its original location at the corner of Seymour Avenue and Atwater Avenue on June 1, 1906 and had recently been stored on Founders Commons.
The Derby Greenway is the first link in what eventually will be a larger Naugatuck Valley Greenway. Ansonia and Shelton are currently designing sections that will be linked to Derby, and Derby has an additional grant to extend its section across the Naugatuck River and along the east bank of the Housatonic River towards Orange.
The Grand Opening of the Greenway was part of a very special day in Derby. The last Sunday in Derby is the day of the annual Derby Day celebration which moved back to the Green this year. The opening of the trail was tied to the opening of Derby Day as officials made their way to the Green to celebrate the unveiling of the new City Seal designed by Derby High School art teacher Marianne Feroce and approved by the Board of Aldermen on June 15.ollowing the walk from Division Street.
Mayor Staffieri also dedicated the new Derby/Shelton Rotary Centennial Clock. The Derby/Shelton Rotary Club donated identical clocks to Derby and Shelton and the Shelton clock was dedicated last week at Shelton's Flag Day celebration.