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Trail Talk: EVGV Trail Master Plan Nears Completion

evgvtrailFundraising Underway and Grant Applications Pending

By Eva Potter

When the dedicated members of this community have their way, Ellicottville and Great Valley will soon have a new feature — a designated multiuse trail to enjoy the area’s beautiful natural surroundings for jogging, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and other healthy ways to enjoy the area’s natural beauty, while strategically connecting a variety of local destinations.

The addition of a multiuse trail will reinforce Ellicottville’s reputation as a four-season resort community. With so many great shops, restaurants, resorts and businesses in or within a short distance from the village, the ease and fun of getting from one place to the next will only be enhanced by the addition of the Ellicottville-Great Valley (EVGV) Trail. Eventually, the trail will run from the eastern boundary of the Village of Ellicottville to Great Valley.

The EVGV Trail Committee has also formed its own NYS non-profit corporation.  The EVGV Trail board of directors includes Ken Hinman, president; Jennie Acklin, vice president; Kathleen Moriarty, treasurer; and Kate O’Striker, secretary. Ted LaCroix and Mark Alianello will serve as members of the board.

The board held a monthly meeting on Nov. 3, 2013, with landscape architect and trail planner, Rick Manning, in attendance. The agenda included finalization of the trail’s master plan, a formal document that will be used for fundraising efforts, grant applications and other presentations. The board also discussed the building a few of the planned trailheads and are looking for sponsors.

A few months ago, the committee, with help from the community, applied for a Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) grant through the New York Department of Transportation, which could potentially mean a $2 million award to begin and possibly complete the first section of the trail. Good news — the DOT has made a second site visit as it considers the proposal.

A general description of the route encompassed by this potential “transportation” grant, connects key community facilities and areas: Ellicottville’s new Town Center building (formerly the Cooperative Extension Building), the Village Park, the Ellicottville Memorial Library, the Town and Village Hall, the Village Square, downtown businesses, out to the intersection of Holiday Valley, and onward to Ellicottville Central School buildings.

Verbal agreements have been obtained from all property owners along the proposed route between the Nannen Arboretum and Tim Hortons allowing rights of way. It may be several months until the committee will know if the application has been accepted, but everyone involved is very optimistic. You can see a map at the Trail’s facebook page, www.facebook.com/evltrail.  The completion of this trail will take many, many years to finish — possibly decades — and the project will most likely evolve as it unfolds.

In addition, the trail committee recently applied for a small grant to support efforts to raise awareness about the project as they wait for news on the much larger TEP grant.

In addition, generous donations have recently come in from businesses and individuals, with $1,100 in donations just in the last month and almost $30,000 raised to date.

Speaking of fundraising … a raffle is underway to raise funds for the trail. The winners of two bikes, one donated by the Ellicottville Bike Shop/Bike and Bean and one purchased by the EVGV Trail, will be drawn soon.  Ticket  will be sold on Monroe Street during next weekend’s Christmas Stroll — so get yours today at the Bike and Bean Shop, Tim & Bonnie’s Pizza, or the Ellicottville Times.  Other ways you can support the trail are through the purchase of fun EVGV logo merchandise such as hats, shirts and sweatshirts, and cool stickers.

Please consider making an individual, business or in-kind tax-deductible donation. You can do so online at www. cattfoundation.org, or by mailing your check payable to: Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail Fund, c/o Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, 120 N. Union St., Olean, NY 14706.

Every bit helps and is greatly appreciated! For more information, contact Ken Hinman at (716) 474-8214 or Jennie Acklin at (716) 699-4062.

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