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New Balance to again help pay to clear snow from 17 miles of state-owned Charles River paths

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 28, 2012 12:53 PM

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For the fourth straight winter, New Balance has partnered with the state to help fund snow removal along 17-plus miles of Charles River basin paths.

The pedestrian ways, which span from the Museum of Science in Cambridge to the Galen Street Bridge in Watertown, are used by hundreds of runners, walkers and joggers daily.

The paths are overseen by the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation, which clears the trails within 24 hours after a snowstorm.

Still, officials urge those who use the paths to watch out for slippery spots since only limited sanding and salting can be done due to how close the paths are to the river bank.

The state spends an average of $10,000 each winter to remove snow on the paths, officials have said.

New Balance, the Brighton-based footwear manufacturer, gave the state $10,000 in the first year of the partnership and has given $20,000 the past two winters.

The contributions have allowed for public funding typically allocated for snow clearing to be used elsewhere within the department, including investing in new snow-removal equipment.

“This creative program to enhance DCR park users’ experience – while encouraging recreational activity throughout the winter highlights the ways DCR and the business community can work together to ensure that the Commonwealth’s residents and visitors can access healthy and safe outdoor recreation opportunities in all four seasons,” said a statement from conservation department Commissioner Ed Lambert.

New Balance officials say the company partners because it wants to keep outdoor running options available, especially for those who are training for the Boston Marathon, which is held each year on Patriot’s Day, the third Monday in April.

“The winter period is a critical time for athletes training for the Boston Marathon, so this program helps ensure that runners as well as other fitness enthusiasts have access to the popular Charles River paths,” New Balance president and CEO Rob DeMartini, said in a statement.

The company will host six events along the paths on Saturday mornings leading up to marathon. The company will showcase new products and will offer winter running tips and giveaways. New Balance will also hang banners along the river designed to encourage runners to keep moving through the cold months.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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