All the months of planning, preparation, collaboration and hard work finally brought our dream to fruition! The Morris Canal Trail Kick-Off was held on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017, which happens to be National Trail Day (no coincidence there). The sky was overcast in the morning with a few sprinkles here and there, but as if on cue, the sun broke out and blue skies prevailed. We didn’t know what to expect in terms of the number of people that would show up. Our guestimate was somewhere between 10-50 people….70 if we were really lucky. We had partners promoting the event….Chilton Medical Center teamed up with their “Walk with a Doc” program…the Canal Society of New Jersey advertised it to their members…and of course we used social and electronic media to promote it to Lincoln Park residents and visitors. Our expectations were shattered when we had over 100 people come out to walk the trail and learn about its history! We also tapped into our “Eat Well. Live Well. Lincoln Park” partners to be a part of this celebration! ShopRite of Lincoln Park donated a fruit platter as well as pedometers; Wolfson’s Market donated a $25 gift certificate for our free raffle and participated in the day with a table showcasing some of their healthy corner store promotions; 202 Italian Bistro donated a $35 gift card for our raffle; Lincoln Park Care Center/JDT Medical Rehab donated all the fresh produce that we gave away in bags, in addition to being a part of the celebration; Chilton Medical Center provided some give-aways, water and granola bars; and the American Legion and Keri’s Funeral Home (yes…they even helped) allowed us parking as well as picnic tables behind the Legion.
I will be honest here…it was a lot of work by Lincoln Park’s Department of Public Works, the Canal Society of New Jersey, volunteers and others to bring the trail to reality….but it was worth it! All the mosquito bites, poison ivy and sore muscles were worth the beauty of the trail. It is still a work in progress and we will continue to uncover the history of the trail with its hidden remnants.
So, is the trail being used since the kick-off? One of our residents, who lives next to the trail, told me they see, on average, a dozen people walking it every day and there are probably more that they do not see! Sweet:)