The Mohawk Towpath Byway was recognized at the America’s Byways 25! Event celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the National Scenic Byways Program. During the reception at the Capital Building’s Visitor Center Congressman Paul Tonko stopped in and shared his thoughts on the importance of the network of byways across the country. He went on to reinforce a phrase that he used at our Scenic Conservation Summit, “Byways are important in establishing a sense of place and building community ‘place esteem.'” His words at the Capital Visitor Center were worth the trip to Washington, and reinforces the importance of the work each and every volunteer does every day. Thank you for all you do for the Byway.
The Byway’s participation at the event helps with our Byway’s esteem among our peers. I conferred with other byway leaders from Alaska to Florida, Maine to California and have some valued contacts who we can consult and learn from their experience. On the other hand some of the things that we are doing on the Mohawk Towpath Byway amaze other byway leaders. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. The networking really pays off for all of us whether the concerns are carrying capacity (to many visitors?) or scenic conservation issues or how to tell our respective unique byway story(ies).
I also made it a point to visit the offices of Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirstin Gillibrand on the other side of Capitol Hill.