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Get Involved: Bringing the Air Line Trail to Portland Project

There is a need for the need for volunteers who can perform organizational and technical work, contact state officials to gather information, hands-on activity to make the trail more usable and much more.

The Jonah Center of Middletown’s new project, Bringing the Air Line Trail to Portland, is underway.
The Jonah Center of Middletown’s new project, Bringing the Air Line Trail to Portland, is underway.

The Jonah Center of Middletown’s new project, Bringing the Air Line Trail to Portland, is underway. Here’s an update and how you can get involved at the ground level.

On Nov. 26, the group held a program at the Portland Library that was attended by approximately 80 individuals. View a pdf slide show created by John Shafer.

The next step is to get to know all who expressed an interest in helping with this effort in some way. Members anticipate the need for volunteers who can perform many diverse tasks, such as: organizational and technical work; contacting state officials to gather information; “hands on” work to make the trail more usable as it is; helping to host or organize committee meetings; contacting local property owners; and so on.

To get acquainted and to learn who is ready to do what, individuals may come to one of our upcoming 45 minute meetings at Portland Library.  Choose one of the time slots and click on the link below it to register your attendance on the “Doodle Poll” for that meeting. 

This way, members will know who you are and how you can help. Please enter your first and last name for only one of the meetings, and only if you can attend. Note that each meeting is only 45 minutes long and only 10 individuals may register for each meeting.  

After 10 people have signed up for a meeting, that meeting poll will be closed.  If you want to help but cannot attend one of these meetings, reply to this message with information on when you are more likely to be available.

Wed. Jan. 22, 6 – 6:45 p.m. in the Van Beynum  Conference Room

http://doodle.com/y4wfnuyxrwtmrpx4

Wed. Jan. 22, 7 – 7:45 p.m. in the Van Beynum  Conference Room

http://doodle.com/vwfrmm98n9rce7fy

Sat.  Jan. 25, 11 – 11:45 a.m. in the Mary Flood Room.

http://doodle.com/7q4p7ngewbxee8xd

If you have problems with this sign-up system or have another issue or question, please reply to this message or call John Hall at 860-398-3771. 

The Air Line State Park Trail follows the right-of-way of the former Air Line Railroad, which was built to connect Boston and New York City in the latter half of the 19th century. 

The corridor was known as the Air Line because it traced the most direct route possible – as if by a line drawn through the air. For 86 years, from 1873 to 1959, the Air Line provided a high-speed passenger rail connection between these prominent northeast cities.

In 1975, the Air Line rail corridor was deeded to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, and in 1996 the DEP proposed rehabilitating the rail bed as a linear state park. 

The 17.6 mile stretch between East Hampton and Windham is presently the most improved and popular section of the trail, featuring scenic bridges, ponds, marshes, and gorges.

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