Grants Support Goodwin College’s South Meadows Nature Trail Expansion

Goodwin College has been awarded multiple grants from state and private sources to facilitate the construction of a 12,400-foot-long nature trail in the South Meadows section of the Connecticut River floodplain, linking an ADA-compliant trail to a regional trail network at the Putnam Bridge.

Work on the trail spans two phases of construction. Phase One, which begins work this September, was supported by a gift of $20,000 from the Richard P. Garmany Fund at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, $7,500 from the Manchester Road Race, and $220,468 from the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) through its Recreational Trails Program.

As part of Phase Two, Goodwin received a $555,357 grant from DEEP and an additional grant of $10,000 from the Alvord Family Fund at the Hartford Foundation in 2016. Construction for Phase Two of the trail is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2017 with completion expected by December 2017.

“Goodwin College continually looks for opportunities to share our resources with the community,” said Todd Andrews, Vice President for Economics and Strategic Development at Goodwin. “This project will result in improved access to some of the most beautiful natural resources and land in the region — not just for our students but for the public at large as well.”

The trail will welcome hikers, walkers, runners, cross-country skiers, and bikers, and will provide opportunities for academic research by students from Goodwin College and its magnet schools — the Connecticut River Academy and Riverside Magnet School — as well as the general public. The trail will allow educators to avoid high-cost transportation for field trips and to take advantage of opportunities for their learners to benefit from hands-on experience in natural surroundings.

“We always take our students out to see the real world,” Bruce Morton, Program Director of Environmental Studies at Goodwin College, explained. “They interact with the Nature Conservancy and other environmental agencies, and have participated in archaeological studies on property that is literally in the College’s backyard.” Morton believes that this new trail will expose the public to nature found along the Connecticut River and to parts of the area that they may never have seen before.

“This recreational trail will provide access to new green space and natural areas not typically found in an urban environment,” Andrews added, “It will allow us to add significantly to the quality of life of our community and our students.”

The South Meadow River Trail will be open to the public and will include informational signage about plant and wildlife with fun facts that will encourage research, learning, and adventure.

For more information, please contact Robert Muirhead, Goodwin College Media Relations Coordinator, at 860-913-2033 or