Outdoor recreation in Andover just notched another milestone with the merger of two exemplary and complimentary organizations. Shawsheen Greenway, an emerging force in promoting the use and conservation of the Shawsheen River system, is combining efforts with Andover Trails Committee, a venerable promoter of Andover outdoors and co-author of the popular Andover Trails Guide.
“We’re combining into one non-profit organization under ATC’s mission to promote and support non-motorized trails within Andover” said Steve Golden, Shawsheen Greenway’s president. “I am excited about what we can accomplish together and our growing constituency.”
“Water trails are generally accepted as trails and are consistent with the ATC mission,” echoed Dave Bunting, ATC president. “The Shawsheen Greenway team brings tremendous vitality and vision to further develop and support our town’s tremendous outdoor community and network.” Since its initiation in 1991, ATC has completed a number of high profile projects and has current projects underway, including improvements to the Bay Circuit Trail. In addition to publishing the trails guide, ATC works to increase access to recreational trails, runs trail events, and organizes volunteers to work on trails.
Formed in 2017, the Shawsheen Greenway provides an array of community activities and projects on the Shawsheen River in alliance with Town Departments and key local organizations. Restoration of the Shawsheen, once the historic heart of Andover, remains a key priority. The river is a 27-mile-long tributary of the Merrimack River, flowing northward from Bedford through Billerica, Wilmington, Tewksbury, and Andover before joining the Merrimack in Lawrence.
“The River has never had stronger support in the community” added Golden. “We have come a long way and now together we must provide leadership in defining what actually can be done.” The next year will feature more public recreational events and volunteer opportunities. A communication plan is underway to create a combined website and social media presence likely under the “Andover Trails” moniker.
ABOUT ANDOVER TRAILS COMMITTEE
The Andover Trails Committee is a citizens group with members from the Conservation Commission, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Andover Village Improvement Society, the Bay Circuit Alliance, The Trustees of Reservations, and just plain folk who appreciate the outdoor recreational opportunities of Andover. The committee works to increase the public's access to recreational trails by publicizing trail events, seeking volunteers to work on trails, raising funds for trail improvements, and working with regional groups to create trail networks. To learn more, visit www.andovertrails.org or email email@example.com.
ABOUT SHAWSHEEN GREENWAY
Shawsheen Greenway is non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the Shawsheen River to its full potential as a recreational and educational treasure. The Shawsheen River was once the historic heart of Andover, serving as its economic spine where many mills and farms flourished on its banks and an important recreational resource as well. A 27-mile-long tributary of the Merrimack River, the Shawsheen River flows from Bedford northward through Billerica, Wilmington, Tewksbury, and Andover before joining the Merrimack in Lawrence -- six towns total. The Shawsheen Greenway was formed in 2017 to provide stewardship of community activities and guide implementation of projects in alliance with Town Departments and key local organizations. To learn more, visit www.shawsheengreenway.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents won’t have to head far away to enjoy high quality paddling this summer, thanks to a new program to be introduced in June. Shawsheen Greenway, a community organization formed last year, has partnered with the Andover Recreation Division and the Conservation Division to launch an exciting new canoe and kayak program to promote close-to-home paddling on the Shawsheen River.
“The Shawsheen River offers great flat water river paddling and it is right here in our own backyard”, says Steve Golden, chair of the Shawsheen Greenway. “Many residents aren’t aware of this extraordinary resource. Our goal is to make the River more accessible with this new program and we’re very grateful for the town’s support”. New racks to be installed will have room for about 12 spaces for residents to store boats and another 4 for boats to rent.
Rental and Storage Options
The program will include rental for both canoes and kayaks, as well as storage space on racks so each trip will not require hauling boats. Access to the River will be at the launch located at the Town Conservation Division’s Shawsheen Pines Reservation, across from Pfizer on Lowell Junction Road. The sections of the river above the Ballardvale Dam all the way to Tewksbury are slow moving and ideal for beginners and families.
Residents will be able to rent a canoe or kayak for the day after they register for the program with Andover Recreation. The program will cost $50 for the season and a signed waiver must be on file for each family group member. . Boat rentals are first come first serve and rental users must go to Pomp’s Pond to pick-up keys to unlock the rented boats along with paddles and PFDs.
In order to rent storage rack space, applications can be made for a $50 annual fee with Andover Recreation. Both programs require registering in advance at Andover Recreation and signing waivers.
“We’re excited to be working with Shawsheen Greenway on this new program”, said Jessica Downing, Andover’s Director of Recreation. “We’re able to leverage the summer Pomp’s Pond program to make it easier for residents to enjoy the great recreation resources in Andover. We are glad to be able to administer this innovative program. To encourage community participation, we’ll have several days when boats can be taken out for free so residents can try the program for free”. A full announcement will be made in June with the planned opening day for sing-ups on June 1st.
[Sidebar] Help kickstart the rental program by donating your old canoe or kayak
Do you have a kayak or canoe that is feeling unwanted? To support this new program with boats, the Shawsheen Greenway is looking for owners to make a donation. Not only will you help make the Shawsheen accessible to more residents, you’ll get a free membership and could even get a tax deduction. Boats must be in good condition and will be collected from your home or storage facility. If you or someone you know might be interested, please send an email to email@example.com.
ABOUT SHAWSHEEN RIVER GREENWAY
Shawsheen River Greenway is non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the Shawsheen River to its full potential as a recreational and educational treasure. The Shawsheen River was once the historic heart of Andover, serving as its economic spine where many mills and farms flourished on its banks and now it is an important recreational resource as well. A 27-mile-long tributary of the Merrimack River, the Shawsheen River flows from Bedford south through Billerica, Wilmington, Tewksbury, and Andover before joining the Merrimack in Lawrence -- six towns total. The Shawsheen River Greenway was formed in 2017 to advocate for the River and build a stronger constituency for its stewardship including hosting and implementing projects in alliance with Town Departments and key local organizations. To learn more, visit www.shawsheengreenway.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.