Trail blazers: Bit by bit, idea taking shapeTimes of Trenton Regional News, June 15, 2009
By Matt Fair, Special To The Times
Ten down, ten to go. Well, not quite, but nearly.
The community activists who have been working to develop the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, a 20 mile- plus loop for walkers and bikers, have cut the ribbon on another .8 mile length of the path. On Friday, another ribbon-cutting will mark the completion of an additional 1-mile portion that will represent the 50 percent threshold.
The event was held in the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association's 860-acre Watershed Reserve. The new section was funded from a $200,000 grant from Bristol- Myers Squibb, and connects to a section of pre-existing trail on the pharmaceutical company's Lawrence campus.
The new section to be celebrated is at the Princeton Pike Corporate Center on Lenox Drive in Lawrence. The leg includes a connector with the Delaware & Raritan Canal towpath behind the historic Brearley House.
This leg of the trail was paid for with a donation from Brandywine Realty Trust, the owner of the property. Once completed, the entire Lawrence Hopewell Trail will offer over 20 miles of paved and un paved trail in a loop connecting the two townships. The entire project is expected to be finished by 2012.
"We are happy to be a part of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail and to offer this amenity to those who work at Princeton Pike Corporate Center as well as the public at large," Jerry Sweeney, president and CEO of Brandywine said.
"This is a gift from Brandywine to the whole community," Bob Fri ant, acting project manager for the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corp., said. "It exemplifies the kind of corporate support that the trail has been able to attract over the years."
The Brandywine leg, which will be covered with stone dust, will also provide access to the Brearley House, an 18th-century Quaker farmhouse obtained by Lawrence in 1978. The Stony Brook section will be paved with an asphalt designed to allow rainwater to permeate through to the ground beneath it, preventing problems with runoff.
The nonprofit Lawrence Hopewell Trail Corp. was organized in 2002 to begin the trail project first envisioned by then-employees at Bristol-Myers Squibb Becky Taylor and Eleanor Horne. "Way back in 2001, before gas reached three or four dollars per gallon, we started to say we needed to take a look at other ways that folks are getting around aside from the use of polluting fossil fuel cars and trucks," Friant said.
"Facilitating the use of bicycles is part of our passion to protect our environment while promoting recreation," Taylor added.
"The proof is overwhelming that our climate is changing," Friant said. "It seems that the burning of fossil fuels is contributing to that in a negative way. There are obviously going to need to be steps taken to curb the amount of fossil fuels that we use. All of these things were sort of ahead of their time in 2001, but now we're beginning to see them come to fruition." Since then the corporation has woven a tight net of public and private partners to make the project a reality. "It's not only corporations that make up the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, but also a number of nonprofits that have not only talked the talk, but have walked the walk with respect to supporting the trail," Friant said.
Becky Taylor: Green and On the Scene
The Princeton Family YMCA, July 31, 2009
The Princeton Family YMCA has named Becky Taylor, founder and president of BTaylor Public Affairs, as a recipient of its 2009 YMCA Centennial Awards. The award is given to "visionary people dedicated to sustaining our planet and its resources." [YMCA centennial award]
BTaylor launches Web site
PRESS RELEASE, July 1, 2009
BTaylor Public Affairs has opened an office at 5 Vaughn Drive, Princeton, and has launched its Web site, highlighting the new Princeton-based agency's work in public relations, community relations, and employee communications. [web site]]
Making a Difference: Trail Happy
Princeton Magazine, Holiday 2008
Co-presidents of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Becky Taylor and Eleanor Home say the biking and walking trail's success is due to hard work and commitment by many community leaders and supporters. [download the pdf]