|New Haven RR's Canal Division
A Short Bio/Blurb about Craig Della Penna
He is the Executive Director for Northeast Greenway Solutions, which is small consulting firm set up to help bring cogent solutions to communities developing rail trails and greenways. NEGS collaborates with engineering companies, communities or grass roots trails organizations to assist in their development. NEGS specializes in getting communities to “YES” to the idea of a rail trail by collaborative charette type processes and high energy PowerPoint presentations that are specifically tailored to the locale or venue. NEGS’ inventory of slides of various design issues related to rail trail development is now over 8,000 slides—one of the largest databases in the U.S. Trained as mediator, Craig brings special skills to public meetings that ease tensions and make for a better public participation process. NEGS also produces a HTML newsletter/blog that goes out to over 11,000 advocates and decision makers in 12 states. http://www.greenwaysolutions.org
Craig worked in the railroad industry for many years—planning the start up and managing large scale trans-loading facilities and marketing rail freight . In the mid-1990s he was invited to write a series of books on the history of old railroad lines converted to walking and biking trails [rail trails]. He got involved in the politics of how these paths did or did not get built and authored numerous op-ed pieces/guest editorials on the value of rail trails and greenways in the context of residential real estate and smart growth development.
He was hired by the national organization Rails-to-Trails Conservancy as a legislative agent or lobbyist in the New England region and in their 10th anniversary issue, THE RIDE MAGAZINE named him as the most effective advocate for rail-to-trail issues on the eastern seaboard. Having given over 1,000 lectures in 18 states and Canadian provinces, he is one of the most in-demand public speakers on the subject of how these paths are built and how they improve neighborhoods.
In 2003, he entered the real estate field and became one of the top agents at a long respected local firm. In 2010, he decided to open Pedal to Properties: Della Penna’s Trailside Realty, Inc., a full service real estate firm located in downtown Northampton. His unique real estate practice was recently featured in a BOSTON GLOBE editorial, an article in the WALL STREET JOURNAL and in United Airlines in-flight magazine—HEMISPHERES. He is also one of only a small handful of realtors in the northeast to receive Green designations from both the National Association of Realtors and the U.S. Green Building Council.
Along with his wife Kathleen, he also operates Sugar Maple Trailside Inn, a bed & breakfast located in a restored, 1865 farmhouse in Northampton’s village of Florence. The renovation was featured on HGTV’s Restore America and Craig and Kathy won a historic preservation award from the City of Northampton. The B&B also typically wins "Best in the Valley" awards. www.sugar-maple-inn.com.
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS
Governor’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Board
Co-chair of MassHighway’s Trails & Greenways Taskforce
Chair of the East Coast Greenway’s Massachusetts Committee
Coordinator for the MassCentral Rail Trail Coalition
former Board member Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce
Member of the City of Northampton's Historical Commission
Member of the City of Northampton's Community Preservation Committee
Board Member for Mass DCR’s Massachusetts Recreational Trail Advisory Board
Board Member for Friends of Schell Bridge, Inc.
Member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals
Member of the Congress of New Urbanism
Advisory Board Member of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition [MassBike]
Professional Association of Innkeepers International
Professional Realtor® through the National Association of Realtors®
Member of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®