New Urban Park in Amherst

Thanks to the work of environmental activists, downtown Amherst is getting a new urban park. On December 3, Kestrel Land Trust announced the six acre park will be on East Pleasant Street, across from the University of Massachusetts. Urban parks "are not only safe and beautiful, but also serve as green engines to help address nearly every critical urban need from health to housing, to education and environmental justice, and countering sprawl to combating crime." That's according to:

www.cityparksalliance.org/why-urban-parks-matter

Amherst is home to about 40,000 people. About 19,000 of them live elsewhere in summer.

In other news from the Valley, thanks to the work of bike-ped activists, next year a busy road in Keene will get bike lanes for the first time. Park Avenue is one of the roads a person rides along biking from downtown to the high school. A 1.4 mile long section of Park Avenue will get the bicycle lanes. “About 6,300 vehicles a day use Park Avenue,” J.B. Mack told the Valley Post in a phone interview on December 3. He works at a government agency in Keene that has a web site at www.swrpc.org.

Traveling by bicycle is better for the environment than traveling by car. It also reduces obesity, which accounts for about 18 percent of all deaths in the USA. Bike paths – where cars are kept out by a physical barrier -- are even better than bike lanes, and Keene has lots of bike paths too. Details are at:

https://ci.keene.nh.us/parks-trails-recreation/trails

In other news from the Valley, the organizers of the third annual Women's March in Northampton created a Facebook event page at:

www.facebook.com/events/191636548410917

The event is set for January 19, 2019 at noon.

Thousands of people attended each of the first two marches. Some of the most frequently seen signs at the 2018 Northampton march read, "Dump Trump" and "I Stand With Planned Parenthood." The below photos show the 2018 Northampton Women's March. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." To zoom in more, click on the image again. photos by Eesha Williams

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