Now that the Brickyard Trail and the Sandra L. Frankel Nature Park have been open for about a month and a half, I know that many of you have already enjoyed our newest town park and the beautiful Brickyard Trail running through it. Well over 100 people attended the official ribbon cutting June 29, and every day, more and more people cycle or walk the trail.
Many of these visitors live close enough to walk to the park, but I have already met people from Massachusetts, Virginia and even Hawaii on the trail. I walk on the trail almost every day, as part of my personal walking regimen, and I have not only had a chance to talk with literally hundreds of trail users, but I have also seen nature and the beautiful habitats located in the park, up close and personal.
I invite you to bring your family and friends and enjoy the newest addition to Brighton’s park and trail system for yourself.
As I mentioned in an earlier column, the town purchased the land that is now the Frankel Nature Park in 2012 at a price that was far less than its assessed value, as an amenity to the incentive zoning approval of what is now known as the Landing of Brighton, a senior community on Westfall Road. Appropriately enough, I have met many residents and even some staff members of the Landing enjoying the Brickyard Trail.
After a public process in which the path of the trail was vetted by town staff and consultants, by the public and ultimately by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, construction of the trail began last year.
Telling the story of the wildlife, woods and wetland and the history of the land was important and Bayer Landscape Architects designed a plan for interpretive signage and other elements along the trail. I am particularly gratified to see so many people studying the signs and learning more about the park and its history as the source of clay for Brighton’s booming 19th Century industrial brick making history.
The face of the park changes literally by the hour. Throughout the week, I see families and individuals of all ages taking to the trail — on foot and on bikes — often even training wheels. You’re never too young or too old to learn about nature.
My favorite time of day is at dawn. A few runners and serious cyclists join me on the trail, as do the fox, deer, great blue heron, turtles and other animals that make the park their home.
Whenever you visit, I hope you will come back again and again and enjoy this special place right in the center of Brighton.