5-3-13park-building-coverby Eva Potter

If you haven’t been in Ellicottville in a while, here’s a little recreation update.

Last July a few business people, government leaders and interested citizens, began meeting about constructing a recreational trail that would provide a traffic-free, safe and scenic trail for moderate-level exercise and general outdoor enjoyment.

The group envisioned area residents and visitors jogging, cross-country skiing, biking, snowshoeing, pushing strollers and walking dogs on a well-built trail with interesting trailheads, destinations and gorgeous views around every bend.

The committee’s enthusiasm was boundless as they forged ahead opening a trail fund account with the Cattaraugus County Regional Foundation for the collection of donations, forming a non-profit organization, and raising funds for the planning and construction of the Ellicottville-Great Valley Recreational Trail. Eventually, the trail will run from the eastern boundary of the Village of Ellicottville to Great Valley, connecting businesses, resorts and other stopping points along the way.

Within the last two weeks, the Ellicottville-Great Valley Recreational Trail Fund received a huge financial boost with over $10,000 in donations by private individuals and business donors, including HoliMont Ski Resort and the Cattaraugus County Industrial Agency. The Trail Committee hopes to continue this fundraising pace to reach the estimated $1-plus million cost to complete the proposed initial village portion of trail.

The fund balance stands at approximately $27,000, which will pay for the Master Plan, designed by Rick Manning, a professional landscape architect, with excess funds put toward construction.

The addition of a multiuse recreational trail will reinforce Ellicottville’s reputation as a four-season resort community, and will increase opportunities for all ages to live a healthy and active lifestyle, all while enjoying the Ellicottville’s beautiful surroundings.

But before these grand plans can become a reality, more donations are needed — a lot more!

You can help by making a tax-deductible donation at www. cattfoundation.org or by mailing a check payable to: Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail Fund, c/o Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, 120 N. Union St., Olean, NY 14706.

The trail is still in the planning phase and community input is encouraged. Please send your ideas to jennie@ellicottvilletimes.com, call (716) 699-4062 or Ken Hinman (716) 474-8214, or post on Facebook at EVLTrail.