By Eva Potter

If you haven’t heard, the Ellicottville-Great Valley landscape could change soon with the start of construction of the new Ellicottville-Great Valley (EVGV) Trail sometime in 2014.

The addition of a multiuse trail will be a stellar addition to Ellicottville’s four-season resort community. With so many great shops, schools, restaurants, resorts and businesses in or within a short distance from the village, the EVGV Trail will make getting from one place to the next easy and fun.

But it’s not a done deal yet. More — lots more — funding is needed before the first shovel hits the dirt.

As a result, trail organizers, who have formed a non-profit, have applied for a Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) grant through the New York Department of Transportation last fall that could potentially award $2 million to begin — and possibly complete — the first section of the EVGV Trail.

The DOT has made a two site visits as it considers the proposal, which organizers are interpreting as a positive sign. News of funding is expected early next year.

A general description of the route, based on a professionally designed master plan, connects key community facilities and areas including 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. Eventually, the plan is for the trail to run from the eastern boundary of the Village of Ellicottville to Great Valley.

You can see a map at the EVGV Trail’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/evltrail. The completion of this trail will take many, many years to finish — possibly decades — and the project will most likely continue to evolve as it unfolds.

In the meantime, fundraising efforts are underway and generous donations continue to come in from businesses and individuals totaling almost $30,000 to date.

“We’re excited by the amazing community support we’ve received so far,” said Jennie Acklin, vice-president of the EVGV Trail Committee.

The trail committee also 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.

Other ways you can support the trail are through the purchase of fun EVGV logo gear such as hats, shirts and sweatshirts, and cool stickers.

Caps are available at the City Garage on Monroe St.

2014 is almost over, so please consider making an individual, business or in-kind tax-deductible donation. Every dollar helps and it’s easy!

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.