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Make Local Trails Real — Vote and Buy Art Holiday Valley Vying for Bell Grant, EVGV Trail Benefits from Art Opening

“Spruceline”, by Sean Huntington Open House March 29-30 to benefit EVGV Trail at Sean Huntington and Patricia Eckstrom Art Studio in Ellicottville

“Spruceline”, by Sean Huntington
Open House March 29-30 to benefit EVGV Trail at Sean Huntington and Patricia Eckstrom Art Studio in Ellicottville

By Eva Potter

How can you support Ellicottville’s mountain biking and recreation trails? It’s easy — all you have to do is go online and vote. Then come to the gallery and studio Open House at the Town Center to buy beautiful, original artwork.

HV Mountain Bike Trails

Holiday Valley Resort has been chosen as one of 12 national finalists to potentially receive funding for a mountain biking trail project through a Bell Built Grant. Bell Helmets is offering up to $100,000 in technical assistance grants. The money would be split between three winning finalists, one each from the West Coast, Central Region and East Coast. There are a total of four finalists in each region.

The Western New York Mountain Biking Association (WNYMBA) applied for the Bell Built grant to help build additional singletrack trails at Holiday Valley. If Holiday Valley is awarded the grant, IMBA’s (International Mountain Biking Association) Trail Solutions team would assist in planning, design and construction, along with WNYMBA members and the Holiday Valley Mountain Operations crew.

Since 1992, WNYMBA has been an active leader in promoting and developing the sport of mountain biking  and has developed many miles singletrack trails in the Ellicottville area and in Western New York.

According to Dennis Baldwin, an expert singletrack rider and owner of Bike and Bean in Ellicottville, current trails at Holiday Valley are moderate to expert with little or no introductory terrain, making it difficult for cyclists in a variety of ability levels to enjoy the trails. The Holiday Valley trail project would reroute and improve the loop to suite a broader range of riders.

Holiday Valley is interested in offering guests who rent mountain t bikes at the Inn a fun and exciting trail system that is in the realm of entry level riders.

The flow trail that would be built, would have a rhythm conducive to several levels of skilled riding in one system and could include banked turns, rolling terrain and other features that induce a riding rhythm.  Flow trails are great for leisurely cruising or for fast-paced rides that challenge.

The Holiday Valley Ski Resort trail is competing against trail projects in Richmond, Va., Bristol, Va., and Atlanta, Ga.

Online voting will take place May 5–18, which will determine the winner of the Eastern Region.

And that’s where you come in! Stay tuned for future updates on how to vote for this project in the Ellicottville Times.

Read more about the contest at www.bellhelmets.com/bellbuilt or on Facebook at Bell Bike Helmets.

Art Proceeds Benefit EVGV Trail

Sean Huntington and Patricia Eckstrom Art Studio and Gallery is holding an Open House on Saturday and Sunday, March 29–30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The gallery is inside the Town Center building at 28 Parkside Dr., right next to Nannen Arboretum. Huntington and Eckstrom are generously donating 20 percent of their proceeds to the Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail, which is in the fundraising phase in preparation for construction.

Huntington said, “I lived in both Bradford and Allegany. Both towns have amazing trail systems that I constantly used, and Pat walks the trail near her home constantly. It’s something sorely lacking here. I can’t wait to have one.”

He and Eckstrom have been good friends for years. After moving out of the area for a while, Huntington returned and settled in Ellicottville.

“When I found a studio and gallery space, Pat and I jumped at the chance to share it. Plus, who doesn’t want to spend time in Ellicottville!” Huntington said. “I love my studio! Pat and I are both nature nerds, so having the Cooperative Extension and the Nannen Arboretum at our studio really is a dream come true. Also, the town supervisor, John Burrell, has been really supportive.”

Eckstrom creates intricate, life-like paper sculptures in a framed shadow box style, depicting natural scenes including fish, leaves, trees or whatever captures her interest. She also does acrylic paintings based on these themes. To get a better idea of her artistry, visit her website at www.patriciaeckstromartist.com.

Huntington’s work is self-described as semi-abstract watercolor paintings depicting trees and landscapes. His original paintings hang in the Holiday Valley Lodge’s main staircase. Check out his website at www.seanstrees.com.

Spring through fall, both artists follow the show circuit, but you can always visit their studio by chance or by appointment by calling (716) 244-2943. Winter hours begin in October.

There will be a wide variety of prices for their art at the Open House, starting from $40, so there is something for everyone. Stop in, say hello and buy some amazing art and support the EVGV Trail at the same time.

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