Village of Cayuga to get trail grant assistance

The Village of Cayuga has been selected to receive assistance from Parks & Trails New York through its Healthy Trails, Healthy People program. The program is aimed at increasing the number of physically active New Yorkers by helping communities create new or increase the usage of existing multi-use trails. Selected communities receive help with technical issues, planning, public outreach, grant writing, fund raising, programming, organizational development and other activities critical to the long-term success of trail projects. Parks & Trails New York will work with the community to create the Village of CayugaRecreation Trail, a 2.5-mile walking trail connecting two parks, an elementary school, and the Cayuga Lake waterfront. “The Village is honored to have been selected from a statewide field of applicants” said Carl Cuipylo, the Coordinator for the trail creation. “The idea of a recreational trail highlighting thenatural assets of the Village has been around for some time. The beauty of Cayuga Lake and the unique magnitude of publically accessible waterfront in the Village have long been recognized as the Village’s most valuable asset. What has more recently been recognized though is the connectivity of this asset to other Village assets mainly through a series of public spaces” he said.Communities Selected to Receive Trail Development Assistance The trail will link the Village water tower at the east side, with its upland wildlife through the open space of the sporting fields at Macintosh Park, then through the elementary school grounds, and on to the contemplative, serene setting of the local cemetery and finally onto the waterfront with its migratory bird population in the winter, fishing and incredible vistas in the summer.“When constructed, the elementary school will have the option for field trips to observe wildlife without having to transport the students by bus thereby easing the stressed school budget as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions” Principal Sheila LaDuce said of the trail,” The Village recently received a mini grant from the Eat Well Play Hard program for the purchase of materials to build a series of fourteen rustic park benches. A dedicated group of volunteers assembled the benches and another group is in the process of installing them along the proposed trail route.“I have been walking the route of the trail as part of my morning walk every day for the past few months” said Bruce Purdy, a local resident and volunteer. “I’m really eager to see the trail developed so more people can enjoy the experience” he added. An asset like the trail will make the Village a more attractive place for people to live and could spur business development in the area. A wellness center has expressed interest in locating alongthe trail so its clients can take advantage of the therapeutic nature of walking the trail. Other compatible business opportunities could include a bed and breakfast, art studio/coffee shop and perhaps a kayak and canoe rental. Mayor Helen Day said, ”The Village is thrilled to finally have this opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents and visitors.” For more information on the trail or to volunteer to help, call Carl Cuipylo at 252-4945 or the Village office at 252-1707Communities Selected to Receive Trail Development Assistance Other projects selected for funding by Parks & Trails New York include: Village of Copenhagen, Lewis County – Parks & Trails New York will assist the Village of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen Community Day Committee with the creation of a 1.5-milewalking trail linking the Deer River, and a school and park within the village. Kingston Rails to Trails Connections, Ulster County –Parks & Trails New York will work with the Kingston Land Trust to engage the community in exploring the feasibility of connecting existing rail trails outside the city to the mid-town area. Selection was based on level of community support and commitment to the project, clearly defined project goals, ability of the trail to increase physical activity levels within the community, and the level of need within the community. “Throughout the state, local governments large and small are recognizing how much their citizens value safe, off-road trails that offer the exercise they need and connect the places they frequent. We look forward to helping the residents of the Village of Cayuga begin their trail development efforts,” said Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin.Communities Selected to Receive Trail Development Assistance Parks & Trails New York is the leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving the health and quality of life of all New Yorkers by working with community organizations and municipalities to envision, create, promote, and protect a growing network of parks, greenways and trails throughout the state for all to use and enjoy. Since it launched its Healthy Trails, Healthy People program in 2004, Parks & Trails New York has assisted trail development efforts in 35 communities located in 33 different counties across the state. When these projects are fully complete, almost 250 miles of new multi-use trail will be open to the public. Healthy Trails, Healthy People is funded in part by a grant from the Healthy Heart Program of the New York State Department of Health To find out more about the Healthy Trails, Healthy People program, contact Parks & Trails New York at 518-434-1583 or ptny@ptny.org or visit the Parks & Trails New York website at www.ptny.org.

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