Litchfield Dedicates the John Bryant River Access

July 26, 2019

by Len Lathrop

Saturday, the river access was dedicated in the name of John Bryant, who played a huge role in Litchfield recreation and helped make the river access a reality.  Not only a reality but a beautiful, tranquil place where town residents can make friends with the Merrimack River and nature.

Everyone stood in a paved parking lot at the edge of a pretty long driveway.  It was a hot day, but the setting was ideal with a field of zucchini squash growing 20 feet away and all the friends and family and town people joining together for this great event.

Andy Collins from the Recreation Commission thanked everyone for attending and explained how John worked with the Conservation Committee to get the river access.

Jayson Brennen spoke next about the project and all the volunteer work required to make the access possible.  He pointed out that this beautiful place was transformed with any town funds.  There was some help from the town’s highway department as the guys installed the stone monument.  It was not an easy task and it came out perfect.  Jayson pointed out that the rock is big.

Also recognized by Brennen was Jack Pinciaro for providing the rock and pointing them in the right direction when it comes to making a monument.  Matt Lepore was there filming the project, which will air on LCTV.

He then talked about the numbers related to the project — 24 inches of fill to make the roadway and parking area, 55 holes to dig at about 45 minutes a hole, and then 55 poles to set.  Brennen mentioned that for some reason about 70 holes were needed.

John Bryant’s sons, Stephen, Garrett, Dylan and their mom, John’s wife, Sandy, raised the black drape over the memorial stone.  After several thanks, Sandy spoke of how proud John would be of the access; then the pathway to the river was opened with the cutting of an orange ribbon.

Those assembled walked to the river where Dylan launched a flower-covered raft into the Merrimack; it is recorded as the first launch from the John Bryant River Access.