April 24, 2014, Natick: The kids couldn’t stop giggling as they grouped together to cut the ribbon. The sun was shining, the dignitaries were present, and the mood was buoyant: another section of the retired Sudbury Aqueduct was about to be officially open to the public for recreational use as a trail.
In 2012, MAPC had revived a previous MWRA effort to open disused aqueduct land to the pubic. A process was launched, thanks to the visionary leadership of Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Richard K Sullivan and Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) Executive Director Frederick A Laskey, both of whom were present at the opening ceremony in Natick, and thanks to the dedication and hard work of many local officials. As a result, in the last few years, miles of beautiful recreational aqueduct trails have been opened across the MetroWest area. MAPC provides technical assistance to communities to help with permitting involved in opening the trails.
Back at the ceremonial trail-opening in Natick, the adults were still getting ready when the kids got a little preemptive with the scissors. Saving the day was Natick Board of Selectmen chair Joshua Ostroff, who leapt forward, tied a quick knot, and declared this the ceremonial ribbon-tying. The ribbon was re-cut, the children tumbled around with souvenir clips of ribbon, and a new length of land for recreation and pleasure was opened in a spirit of laughter.
Not bad for a day’s work.