Taney becomes executive director of five-town Norwalk River Valley Trail

Norwalk’s Charlie Taney has been named executive director of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, a projected 38-mile multi-purpose pathway that links Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk with Rogers Park in Danbury and runs through Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding.

In the nonprofit realm, Taney created the Manresa Association in Norwalk, serves on the board of the Norwalk Land Trust and has been active in leadership and fundraising roles with  Stamford-based SoundWaters.  

Taney’s early work focuses on meeting with key stakeholders in each community and identifying tasks to support the goals of a five-town steering committee.  A priority is to oversee a $1.2 million grant — from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection — to design and construct the trail from Wolfpit Road in Wilton to Grist Mill Road in Norwalk. Fundraising for the shovel-ready projects in Wilton and Redding is also high on Taney’s list of objectives.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to work with the NRVT team and the five towns to help bring this dream to life," he said. " The environment is my passion and this is a great way to have an impact right in our own backyard.”

Pat Sesto of Ridgefield, president of the Friends of the NRVT, said Taney was unanimously selected as the trail’s first executive director “based on the wealth of experience he brings to the project.”

Lynne Vanderslice, Wilton’s first selectman, also noted Taney’s extensive background in environmental causes and his commitment to open space initiatives, adding: “The trail is becoming a wonderful asset for Wilton and we'd love to see more of it completed."

Norwalk's Mayor Harry Rilling, who worked with Taney on the Manresa project, said, "Charlie has shown tremendous leadership on the Manresa project and I know he'll bring the same energy and effectiveness to the Norwalk River Valley Trail. I'm looking forward to working with him on this important project.”

And Redding’s First Selectman Julia Pemberton added: “A lot of good work has gone into planning the Redding segments of the NRVT.  We look forward to working with the NRVT's new executive director in making these plans a reality."

The Norwalk River Valley Trail is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit overseen by a steering committee of the residents of five towns, led by Norwalk’s Jim Carter, Wilton’s Rob McWilliams, Ridgefield’s Patricia Sesto, Redding’s Stuart Green and Danbury’s Kathy Miville.