October 21, 2019
Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and development of the ECRT corridor, has just completed their first year as trail managers for the trail. Below is an update on their first year.
We just completed an exciting first year as trail managers of Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail (ECRT)! I am so proud of the connections, partnerships and progress we have made. With our 49-plus year federal rail-banking agreement in hand, our hard-working volunteer board is making progress creating a beautiful, historically and environmentally significant multi-use recreational trail in the Southtowns of WNY!
BUILDING CONNECTIONS: Over the past year, we’ve built strong relationships with local, county and state representatives – many have provided letters of support for our efforts. We’re laying the groundwork for funding opportunities by meeting with institutional funders to support our mission.
BUILDING FRIENDS: In addition to our 6,500 + supporters, we have 400 members in our new Friends groups! These organizations have been formed in Orchard Park, West Falls-Colden and Concord-Springville and include supporters from these communities who are taking an active role in supporting ECRT’s mission. Our Friends have had a busy year participating in events including farmers’ markets, arts festivals, outdoor concerts, a model trail expo, a horse show and a fire company fundraiser to spread the word about ECRT. And support from communities has been extraordinary!
NATIONAL TRAILS DAY: As a way to thank our Friends groups, on National Trails Day we held a celebration at the Buffalo Ski Club where we opened a section of trail for an exclusive, one-day guided hike. We hope to make this an annual celebration that grows each year!
MULTI-USE TRAIL PARTNERS: ECRT has established connections with regional biking organizations, running groups, horseback riders, railroad historians, snowmobile clubs and trout fishing and kayak experts. Each will play a role in developing a unique and iconic rail trail experience!
2020 PLANS: We need your help! The year ahead will be pivotal as we begin the trail development process and forge new partnerships. Most important, we need contributions from ECRT supporters to support our ongoing operating costs and help us achieve our 2020 goals:
• Launch an engineering assessment that will include community input and lead to trail design.
• Fund additional signage and interim maintenance projects.
• Open additional trail section connecting to the currently open 1.7 mile section in Springville
• Fund ongoing carrying costs, including insurance and tax obligations
• Solidify relationships with funders by showing we have support from organizations and individuals like you!
You can help us bring the trail to life by making a donation! While any amount is appreciated, if you donate $100 or more before November 1, you'll receive a stainless ECRT water bottle as a gift! (Please allow 4-6 weeks for shipping and handling.)
Alternatively, make a recurring gift of $10/month or more to ECRT and become a member of the ECRT trail Champion Circle! This entitles you to exclusive trail experiences, VIP special events and more.
Visit us at www.ecattrail.org to contribute today.