By Colleen Mahoney
The Springville Rails to Trails will be officially opened after a ribbon cutting event on Oct. 5, but community members have begun using the trail system already.
The 1.8 mile trail runs through the village of Springville from North Street to the Lowe’s store on South Cascade Drive. It’s part of the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, which stretches 27.6 miles from Orchard Park to Ashford.
The village secured the right of entry contract from the Buffalo Pittsburgh Railroad back in May and began working on making the trail walkable immediately.
Springville Superintendent of Public Works Ken Kostowniak said the village “had a very, very small amount of money to work with. We used recycled material and got a lot of donations from the community.”
This year, the DPW focused on the trailhead on West Main and Waverly streets. The area, next to Kiril’s Restaurant, allows for some parking and has benches and picnic tables for community members.
There is a kiosk built by Springville-Griffith Institute alumnus Dan Ettipio which will have a map and rules of the trails.
“It’s really well made … he did a good job,” Kostowniak said. “He even came and helped install it. It looks great.”
The project benefited from other donations from the community, as well.
The benches at the trailhead were purchased with money raised by the Springville Griffith Community Education Foundation, and some of the trees were donated by Schichtel’s Nursery. The yellow bollards lining the entrances are reused from former playgrounds and the trail’s pathway is made from recycled roadway.
“All of the credit goes to [lead man] Greg Reynolds and the streets division,” Kostowniak said. “I sent them out there with little more than a concept sketch and they did all the work. They deserve all the credit.”With phase one done, Kostowniak said next year the village will begin work extending north and south of the trailhead, eventually completing the entire trail. In the meantime, the trail is open for use.
“I, personally, think it looks great. It really beautifies the village,” he said. “It’s been hard with the drought, getting the grass to grow, but it will look better each year. I’ve already seen people using it, which is good.”
The trail is considered multi-use may be used by pedestrians, bicyclists, cross-country skiers and equestrians.
More details on the Oct. 5 ribbon cutting will be forthcoming.