Blue & Green Trails
Encouraging mobility, recreation, and educational opportunities for our community.
Research shows that recreation programs in parks change the way that people interact with their environment. By providing the community with ways to get involved and stay invested in its green spaces, effective park programming offers better health and increased well-being for residents.
This is why our primary initiative as a conservancy is to create a publicly-accessible and continuous nature trail along the 6 ½ miles of waterfront parkland in Mastic Beach, eventually linking bike paths to downtown (Neighborhood Road) and Smith Point Beach. The nexus of the trail will be an ecology and arts education center located at Violets Cove.
We believe that thoughtfully designed experiences providing controlled access to nature can completely shift public behavior and relationship to the natural world. Boardwalk design, combined with structural view points, resting points and access points, will allow people to experience the wetlands without disturbing them. It will also provide a forum for ecological education to the public, through interpretive signage and guided nature walks.
We recognize the necessity for a mix of pathway types — from painted asphalt for bike paths to raised boardwalk. In underserved communities like Mastic Beach, bike lanes can generate incredible opportunities for the public. We believe that bike lanes can play a crucial role in:
— Connecting urban/suburban areas with natural environment
— Enabling access to nature for more of the community
— Encouraging healthy recreational activity
— Ultimately improving the economy by generating alternative means of transportation and recreation
In connection with our Green Trails initiative, our goal is to create easily accessible Blue Trails for kayak, paddle board, canoe and rowers. With the use of low impact infrastructure (slips and light ramps) and interpretive signage we can design a comprehensive waterway blue trail around the Mastic Peninsula.
We are working alongside town, county, state and federal agencies to build Mastic Beach into a safe, environmentally sound, and beautiful parkland, with the hope of including and uplifting our community.
If you are interested in supporting or collaborating with us on this vision, please contact us.