PUTNEY -- When the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition did a survey in Putney earlier this year to find out if there was support for a comprehensive map of the walking, biking and cross-country ski trails in town there was widespread support for the project.
Surveys were collected at town meeting and a full 97 percent of those who answered the survey said they thought it would be useful to have the map.
Now, after months of walking the trails, seeking ideas and support on social media, and working with Windham Regional Commission and local graphic designer Susan Kochinskas, the Putney Trail Project has released the new map.
"Our goal and vision is to have a safe, healthy and positive community and this is a great resource to promote those things," said BAPC Coordinator Cassandra Holloway.
The Putney Trails Project was funded through a $24,275 Department of Health Community Transformation Grant. A portion of the grant went toward the map project. The project began in July 2012 with the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition working with Healthy Communities Coalition to determine the need for better bike and pedestrian options.
The new map is available at the Putney General Store, Putney Library, Putney Co-op, Town Hall and other locations around town, and also will be available on the town's website. The map includes 25 trails and road walks. There are about 15 miles of road walks and more than 20 miles of old roads and trails shown on the map
Hannah Pick, who grew up in Putney, was chosen this year to work on the map. Earlier this year, she put out notices on Facebook, iPutney, and other social media sites to gather information on the existing trails.
"I talked to a lot of people in the community who are connected and involved with outdoor activities," Pick said. "People were excited about this."
During the spring she walked most of the trails, and working with Jeff Nugent from Windham Regional Commission, began mapping the walks.
"This project made me realize how much was out there and helped me appreciate what Putney has to offer," she said. "It's a small town but there is a lot going on."
Pick said she was familiar with some of the trails from growing up in town, but also was surprised at the amount of opportunities across Putney, some of which she was not aware of.
"The whole idea is to make it easy for people get out and the map show the highlights all over town," Pick said. "Hopefully by seeing it all together in one place it will inspire people to get out and maybe try a new walk. It's a way of finding out what's out there."
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 279.