Bike-Walk Committee

A Conversation About Community Seating

The Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) will host “A Conversation About Community Seating” from 11:00am to 12:00pm on Friday, June 24, 2022 via Zoom. If you're interested in being part of the conversation, please register at: https://bit.ly/MPIC062422. After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.

South Hadley’s newly adopted Master Plan Update calls for prioritizing places for people to sit, and to gather, outdoors. Seating on walking routes, in or near parks, transportation stops, shopping, conservation areas, and elsewhere will help create the thriving community envisioned in the Plan. Several boards, committees, and commissions are charged with making this happen, including the Bike/Walk Committee (BWC). BWC will be involved with helping to develop a bench sponsorship campaign and a master map for outdoor seating and gathering areas. MPIC is seeking input from those identified in the Master Plan as well as anyone else who is interested in this project.

The purpose of this initial conversation is to identify a working group and to determine its tasks. What sorts of issues should it consider? These might include locations, types of seating, installation and maintenance costs, mapping community seating resources, other? How could necessary funds be generated?

The meeting will be recorded for later viewing at https://shctv15.com.

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About the South Hadley Bike/Walk Committee

The South Hadley Bike/Walk Committee (BWC) originated as a working group of the Sustainability and Energy Commission. In September 2015, the Committee was formally designated as an advisory group to the Selectboard. Members are appointed annually and our goals include the development of safe bike/walk routes and outdoor resources throughout our community. We work with the Selectboard, Recreation Department, Conservation Commission, and connect with other groups locally and regionally. The Committee works to support implementation of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s bike/walk comprehensive plan for South Hadley.

Bike/Walk Committee Members Term
Christopher Bassett
2022
Ruth Camuse
2022
Larry Dubois
2022
Lucia Foley
2022
Marilyn Gass
2022
Steven Lachowetz
2022
Caroline Martin
2022
Natasha Matos
2022


We normally meet at 6:30pm on the second Tuesday of the month, and currently meetings are held virtually on Zoom.

The Bike/Walk Committee works closely with the Recreation Department, which can be reached by email with questions or for information at recreation@southhadleyma.gov. To reach the Bike/Walk Committee or to be added to our email distribution list for updates on Bike/Walk events, Treks, and news, please email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com. For more on biking in Massachusetts, visit: MassBike Pioneer Valley and Mass Bike.

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are posted following approval.
View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes

BWC is seeking new committee members

Want to be part of a group that is passionate about walking and biking in Town? Want to make a difference for current and future residents in their quality of life? Join us in our quest to improve and/or enhance walking and biking initiatives! BWC committee members need to be residents of South Hadley.  

An online application and information on other current volunteer committee positions in South Hadley is available elsewhere on the Town website.

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Recent Events

BWC Treks

Our free, public Treks resumed in Fall 2021 with a Woodlawn Neighborhood Trek and tour of new outdoor fitness stations at the Senior Center in October. In November, participants enjoyed a guided Trek of the Upper Lake Loop and Boardwalk at MHC with Dr. Olivia Aguilar of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment. In February, 2022 participants trekked over newly snow-covered paths at the Town's Ledges Golf Course.

When scheduled, Treks are held on Sunday afternoons at 1:00pm with participants gathering at 12:45pm. We do not schedule Treks in June, July, and August. Participants of all ages and new Trekkers are always welcomed! All Treks are subject to change or cancellation due to weather; should that appear necessary, please check this page for a notification. To join our mailing list, email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com.

Get Ready to Ride Bike Event

In celebration of Baystate Bike Month in May, the South Hadley Bike/Walk Committee held an afternoon event for people of all ages at Buttery Brook Park. The event offered a K-8 bike rodeo featuring informative and fun bicycle education activities, bike inspections and safety checks, information about rules of the road, and a chance to try out e-bikes. Competitive Edge Ski & Bike of Easthampton, AAA of Hadley and Greenfield, Valley Bike, and the South Hadley Police Bike Patrol, participated, along with the Batch Ice Cream Ice cream truck.

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Previous Trek maps and information

Conservation areas and hiking trails, recreation, river access

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News and Notes

Bay State Tops 2022 Bicycle-Friendly Rankings

The League of American Bicyclists recently released its annual ranking of states on their policies and practices. Until now, since the rankings began in 2008 Washington has ranked first, but Massachusetts has now claimed first place for its efforts to promote safety and ridership--though there is still work to do on traffic laws and practices. For more information and individual state report cards: https://bikeleague.org/content/new-2022-bicycle-friendly-states-rankings-massachusetts

CityStrides Run Tracking App Resource 

Easthampton resident James Chevalier, formerly of Holyoke, created an app to help users achieve a goal of running, jogging, or walking every street in their communities. CityStrides (https://citystrides.com/) combines data from OpenStreetMap with run tracking tools from Runkeeper to create a resource that is now available to users worldwide. As of mid-May, some 47,000 people in over 90 countries have used the app to add and complete almost 4.3 million streets. While the app is available at no charge, users can elect to be supporters of the project for $5 a month. A story about Chevalier and CityStrides was published on May 12, 2022 in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Walking Activities for Seniors

SOCIAL STROLLERS GROUP
The South Hadley Senior Center's Social Strollers group will resume for the spring beginning April 12, 2022. The walking group, which meets on Tuesdays at 1:00pm for fresh air and exercise is led by volunteer Huguette Supinski. The group will be addoing a 'destination walk' each month starting in May. For questions or to register, email: coa@southhadleyma.gov or call 413.538.5030.

2022 MASSACHUSETTS WALK CHALLENGE | May 1 to October 31, 2022
This year's Massachusetts Council on Aging challenge runs from May 1 to October 31, 2022 and is open to everyone in Massachusetts, ages 5 and up. Participants can walk with family, friends, or on their own. For every challenge completed by a South Hadley senior or by a 'sponsor' under age 60, the South Hadley Council on Aging receives an entry to win up to $1000 for fitness programming (last year our senior center won a $250 prize). Those working on challenges are also entered into drawings for Visa, Amazon, and Dunkin' gift cards. Those 60 and under can 'sponsor' an older adult, by entering their name (no fundraising is involved) on the website when you create your challenge.  

Select one of 5 different challenge levels--walking for days, time, miles, or steps, then choose a challenge based on a Massachusetts fun fact. Choose your challenge based on your walking abilities, or challenge yourself to reach a higher goal. You can walk inside, outside, on a track, or a treadmill (the Senior Center has several)--wherever you want. Enter your results at www.walkmachallenge.com between May 1 and October 31 and you’ll be entered to win at each milestone (five chances to win total). It’s that easy! 

Call Sandy Farnsworth at 413.538.5030 x6205 to let her know you’re joining the challenge. Local participants will be entered into an additional South Hadley Senior Center raffle.

South Hadley Volunteer Conservation Corps 

There are numerous exciting projects underway to improve trails and resources on our conservation lands as part of South Hadley's Volunteer Conservation Corps. In October 2021, volunteers helped to clean up and prune trailheads at Bynan and Black Stevens, did trail maintenance and installed a new bench donated for Leaping Well Nature Trail, and cleared downed trees and reset a trail marker at Bachelor Brook. To learn more about work parties and other opportunities to help, contact Conservation Administrator/Planner Rebekah Cornell: rcornell@southhadleyma.gov.

Help Protect the Lauzier Farm on Alvord Street

This 210-acre farm is the last of its kind in South Hadley. Located near the Connecticut River, the Town-owned Newton, Carver, Jones Conservation Area, and the Ledges Golf Club, the land has been farmed for decades. To purchase an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) that will prohibit housing development and permanently protect this important farmland and scenic landscape, the Town continues to work in partnership with Kestrel Land Trust to raise a local match of $150,000. For more information on the campaign or to donate by check to the South Hadley Conservation Commission, see: https://www.southhadley.org/1100/Protect-Lauzier-Farm. To make a donation online through Kestral Land Trust, visit: https://www.kestreltrust.org/lauzierfarm/. All donations are tax deductible.

Reminders for Dog Owners

During these times where more of us are using local outdoor public facilities, we want to remind all dog owners of the expectations in public spaces.

  • Dogs must be leashed at all times at South Hadley Conservation Areas and in all public spaces and Town trails.
  • Pick up any pet waste and take it with you, no matter where you are. Do not leave it on a trail or in a bag on a trail, or on grassy or wooded areas near sidewalks, etc. Dog poop is more harmful than you may think--Take the Pet Waste Pledge to help keep our local waters clean.
  • Dogs are NOT allowed at Town parks (Buttery Brook Park, Beachgrounds) and school facilities, etc.

The South Hadley Dog Park is located near the Ledges Golf Club and has designated play areas for small dogs and large dogs. See the Friends of the South Hadley Dog Park website for info and park rules: southhadleydogpark.org.

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.

ValleyBike Share

ValleyBike Share (VBS) now offers service year round. In South Hadley, pedelec bikes are normally docked at three stations: Mount Holyoke College Station (on the Town Common, intersection of Rts 116 and 47), Woodlawn Plaza Station (494 Newton Street), and the Eink Station (by the Police Station at 41 Bridge Street). For current availability see: https://www.valleybike.org/map. In 2021 Chicopee and West Springfield joined Amherst and UMass, Easthampton, Holyoke, Northampton, South Hadley, and Springfield as VBS program communities.

For more information: https://valleybike.org/ or the ValleyBike Facebook page. If you have any difficulties or need additional information, contact VBS at: info@valleybike.org. For urgent matters, call VBS at: 1-877-460-2435.

South Hadley Hiking Trails

While dogs are allowed on Town trails and conservation areas, pets MUST be leashed (please note that dogs are not allowed at Town parks). Please be sure to pick up any pet waste and take it with you--do not leave it on a trail or in a bag on a trail. Pack it in, pack it out. If you have trash to dispose of, please take it home with you if there are no trash receptacles in the area or if they are full. If you’re out on our trails in town, please maintain safe social distancing when passing other hikers. 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, please send us a note to report the concern at, email bikewalksouthhadley@gmail.com

River-to-Range Trail 

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. Trail Map for River-to-Range and Bachelor Brook-Stony Brook Conservation Area

Upcoming Street and Bike Lane Projects

Additional street reconstruction and resurfacing work on Route 116/Newton Street is planned by MassDOT in the area between Route 202 and the Kendrick Street intersection. The project is meant to include 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.

Preparation has started for roadwork on Route 33/Lyman Street that is meant to include a new shared biking and walking path along Lyman Street, beginning south of the Route 116/Newton Street lights and extending to near Plains School. The project is anticipated to include some crossing areas with flashing beacons along the route and near the school.

MHC Grounds Reopened to the Public 

The outdoor grounds of the Mount Holyoke College campus reopened to the community in May 2021 in conjunction with the state's Covid-19 guidance. All buildings continue to be closed to the public. Fishing is allowed at the Upper Lake off Park Street and behind the Kendall Center, but is not permitted at the Lower Lake or other campus waterways. Please carry out any trash brought to the campus, including pet waste and fishing supplies. Masks will not be needed while walking outdoors, but will still be required for everyone at any outdoor events regardless of vaccination status. For details, see the College's reopening advisory, as well the campus map and campus trail information.

Buttery Brook Park Facility Rentals

While Buttery Brook Park pavilions and other park facilities were not rented during the 2021 season due to the pandemic, the park has remained open to the public. Restrooms are currently closed and visitors are asked to carry out any trash (please note that dogs are not allowed at this park). The South Hadley Recreation Department will handle all reservations and rentals, and provide availability options, general information (including any rules about liquor), and details about any insurance requirement. Pricing and additional information will be available once operations resume. Please direct all inquiries about seasonal facilities and rentals to the South Hadley Recreation Department by email at recreation@southhadleyma.gov.  

Tick Testing Resources

The University of Massachusetts Laboratory of Medical Zoology halted service during the pandemic and is unable to accept samples for testing at this time. The UMass Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment offers a list of potential tick identification and testing alternatives at: https://ag.umass.edu/resources/tick-testing-resources

Bike-Walk Committee Photo Gallery

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