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NEW: Massachusetts State Rep. Durant Paddles Quinebaug River

Monday, August 05, 2013


Rep. Durant and others seek to make the public area of the many recreational opportunities along the Quniebaug River.

On Saturday, August 3rd, Massachusetts State Representative Peter Durant (R-Spencer) and his wife Lisa launched their canoe into the Quinebaug River from a boat launch located off of Paper Mill Rd. in Dudley. They were leading a group of about twenty who spent the morning paddling the river from Dudley into Southbridge, with guidance from The Last Green Valley organization and its rangers.

Prior to the paddle, Representative Durant was joined by Senator Richard Moore to honor Ken Butkiewicz; a Dudley resident who played an integral role in bringing resources together to install the boat launch and picnic site in Dudley.

Highlighting Recreational Opportunities

The event, in addition to a morning of paddling showcasing the recreational opportunities of the Quinebaug River, highlighted the National Recreational Water Trail; part of the National Heritage Corridor that runs from the Brookfields to Fabyan CT. The group hopes to raise awareness and interest in establishing a boat launch in Southbridge, similar to that on Paper Mill Rd in Dudley. Providing river access in Southbridge will allow the National Water Trail to expand and include the stretch from Southbridge to West Dudley.

“Lisa and I were thrilled to take this opportunity to explore such a wonderful resource right her in our own back yard that is free to use and available to everyone,” Durant said. “I give Ken so much credit for his hard work and dedication to help bring this boat launch together and to help others take advantage of the Quinebaug river while getting outside and doing something active and fun.”

Joined by Other Local Politicians 

“I was pleased to be able to join with Representative Durant to honor a very dedicated volunteer, Ken Butkiewicz, for his years of advocacy for the development of the Quinebaug River Rail Trail,” said Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge. “Ken has certainly been a positive force in moving this project along, in addition to the Dudley and Southbridge Highway Department personnel. The event was also a great opportunity to promote and encourage greater public use of the Quinebaug River. Of course, I was also there to dive in to save Rep. Durant if his canoe capsized, but fortunately that wasn't necessary.”

Bill Reid, Chief Ranger with the Last Green Valley, added “The Last Green Valley appreciates the work that Ken Butkiewicz has done as a volunteer with our Water Trails Committee. He is truly responsible for the new boat launch in West Dudley. We also appreciate the support we have received from both Representative Durant and Senator Moore. Both are great advocates for the National Heritage Corridor and their interest in the Quinebaug River is greatly appreciated.” 


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