WESTFIELD- Dozens of residents took advantage of some nice fall weather and participated in the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail’s annual Glow Walk Monday evening on the Rail Trail.
Participants gathered at the top of the ramp on to the trail by East Main Street around dusk. Those who walked were able to take glow sticks or other small, flashing objects on the walk with them down to the tobacco fields.
Before the walk began, the group collectively read a rendition of the “12 Days of Halloween” while standing at the top of the ramp. Several stops were made throughout the walk so that somebody could read a short story or poem to the group. The stories were largely Halloween themed, and several of them were written by local artists Kelly and Susan Buffam. Kelly Buffam is a cast member of Ghost Stories Live at Blue Umbrella Books who specializes in short stories. Susan Buffam is a poet and artist, and is the director of Artworks in Westfield.
The group walked to the tobacco fields, a round trip of nearly two miles. When there, more of the Buffam’s works were read while people waited to watch for the moon rise. The Glow Walk is held on a day where the moon will be full or nearly full and can be seen rising behind the barns of the tobacco fields visible from the rail trail.
Some people elected to ride their bikes down the trail rather than walk. Those people were encouraged to ride all the way down to Shaker Road or the Connecticut line.
Following the walk, copies of the books and short stories written by the Buffams were available to be raffled off. People could purchase three raffle tickets for $5 to participate. The funds raised from the raffle go towards the maintenance and purchasing of enhancements to the trail.
People could also purchase t-shirts that depict the local map of the Southwick and Westfield portions of the trail.
The free Glow Walk has been held annually for several years as a way to get people onto the trail in a light that they may not normally see it.
“It really is to promote the mission statement of the Friends to promote a bicycle and pedestrian friendly Westfield,” said Maureen Hamel, an at-large board member of the Friends, “We’re just putting out an activity to get folks up there.”