In This Issue

     

•  Long Island Motor Parkway Trail Progresses On Several Fronts

•  Pulaski Begins Trek Towards Healthy Trails, Healthy Community

•  Peru's Next Steps Report Available

•  Bicyclists Bring Business Roundtables

• 2006 Canalway Trail Celebration

Funding

Trail and Health Resources

Legislative Updates

Heard on the Trail

Calendar

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HEALTHY TRAILS, HEALTHY PEOPLE

Long Island Motor Parkway Trail Progresses on Several Fronts

For many years, Sam Berliner, Denis Byrne, and other volunteers have promoted development of the Long Island Motor Parkway Trail. This proposal would extend across Nassau County following the historic route of the first private toll road in the country built in 1908 by William K. Vanderbilt. In 2004, Parks & Trails New York selected the project for its Healthy Trails, Healthy People Program. It will provide a trail from Queens to Suffolk County linking residential neighborhoods, parks, commercial areas, and schools as well as create an accessible place, where thousands of persons can engage in healthy physical activity. Parks & Trails New York has been working with Byrne and Berliner to gain additional support for the effort, but until recently generating government and community interest has been difficult.

Several recent major developments have given the Long Island Motor Parkway Trail a substantial boost.

•  The Long Island Motor Parkway Trail has been recommended to receive $450,000 from Nassau County's $50 million Environmental Bond Act for preparation of a master plan, erection of signage along the historic route, and construction of a pilot trail segment. This funding award is a direct result of nominations submitted last year by Parks & Trails New York, Berliner, and the Nassau County Planning Commission and the ongoing efforts of Berliner, Byrne, and Parks & Trails New York to increase visibility for the project.

•  With permission from Nassau County, Long Island Motor Parkway Panel volunteers cleared more than 60 years of vegetation from the old road corridor within County-owned Old Bethpage Village Restoration and Battle Row Campground, resulting in a wide, open trail that is already being used by the public.

•  Denis Byrne joined with other trail advocates to form LIGHT (Long Island Greenways and Healthy Trails) to promote trail development throughout Long Island, beginning with the Motor Parkway Trail project.

•  As part of the Healthy Trails, Healthy People Program, Parks & Trails New York will be working with the Nassau County Planning Commission and Planning Federation on development of a countywide trail and greenway plan. Parks & Trails New York will be assisting County staff with public trail visioning workshops. The Long Island Motor Parkway Trail will be a critical part of the countywide trail network.

New York's Trails in the News

For further information on the historic Vanderbilt Motor Parkway and its renaissance as a multi-use trail, visit Pedal Pushers online article, "What is this Old Raceway and Why is it Important to Cyclists?"

Pulaski Begins Trek Towards Healthy Trails, Healthy Community

In April, Parks & Trails New York staff members Fran Gotcsik and Kevin Prickett visited the most recent participant in the Healthy Trails, Healthy People program, Pulaski, N.Y. Sitting on the banks of the Salmon River, this small village is home to nearly 2,500 people. Each fall, as the salmon swim up the river to spawn, thousands of fisherman line the banks in Pulaski to catch trophy fish. The rest of the year, the river's shores play host to community members out for a walk or taking in the history and flora along the river.

Currently, a small informal foot path is in place along the riverbank, but the community would like to see something that is better delineated and more attractive to users, plus helps protect the natural resources of the area. Once completed, the trail will tie together the community, its parks and the Salmon River.

"Pulaski is a walker friendly community. Once the snow melts, everyone comes out," said Township Historian and County Legislator Shawn Doyle.

Parks and Trails New York is looking forward to working with Pulaski to foster its health and economy through trail development.

Peru's "Next Steps" Report Now Available

The Town of Peru in northern New York became a Healthy Trails, Healthy People community with the goal of building a trail system that connects its parks and improves walking and biking opportunities. The recently released “Next Steps” report, developed by Parks & Trails New York staff subsequent to a November 2005 public workshop, provides guidance for the community to address Peru's challenges in building and preserving a community trail system. Topics covered include: public outreach, organization building, private landowner partnerships, liability, and construction costs.

Bicyclists Bring Business!
Free roundtables to address marketing to the Canalway Trail tourist

Studies consistently show that bicycle and other outdoor tourists come from high-income households, typically spend between $100 and $300 per day, and will travel significant distances to regions offering a good mix of cycling, attractions, and services. With the Canalway Trail expanding across the state and the renown of the Erie Canal growing, more and more cyclists will be choosing to take their vacation in Upstate New York.

To help local business people discover how to make the most of this emerging opportunity, Parks & Trails New York and the New York State Canal Corporation, with generous support from Senator George Maziarz, are organizing a free roundtable, "Bicyclists Bring Business!" on Monday, May 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Palmyra Inn, 955 Canandaigua Road, Palmyra and Tuesday, May 16, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises, 210 Market Street, Lockport.

The roundtables will cover understanding the demographics and needs of the bicycle tourist, making communities and businesses more bicycle-friendly, developing infrastructure to accommodate bicycles and bicyclists, and marketing to outdoor recreationalists. The program will also include networking time and light refreshments.

Space is limited, so RSVP to Parks & Trails New York.

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Canalway Trail

Canalway Trail Celebration 2006

The third annual Canalway Trail Celebration will take place on National Trails Day, June 3, 2006. The celebration is a coordinated series of local events centered on the communities located along the Canalway Trail System. In keeping with the theme for this year, “Celebrate your Canalway Trail,” local communities are planning festivities and special events to recognize the growing prominence of the Erie Canalway Corridor as a world-class recreationway and tourist destination for visitors and residents. “Celebrate Your Canalway Trail” is organized by Parks & Trails New York, The New York State Canal Corporation, and the Canalway Trails Association New York, with support from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

It is still not too late to become involved by organizing a Celebration event or by volunteering to assist with the maintenance and promotion of the Canalway Trail throughout the year as a Canalway Trail Adopter. For more information on the Celebration, the Canalway Trails Association New York, and the Adopt-a-Trail Program, contact Parks & Trails New York .

Funding

Funding Available for Trail Projects

“TEA” Enhancement applications due June 30, 2006

The NYS Department of Transportation announced it is now accepting applications for round one of the SAFETEA-LU Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP). This is a major source of funding for bicycle and pedestrian facility projects such as trails and the conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails.

The deadline for applications is June 30, 2006 .  The NYS DOT website includes information on funding, the rules and requirements, the Guidebook for the preparation of an application, and a list of the NYSDOT Regional TEP Coordinators. Projects must have a total cost of at least $100,000 and federal participation will be limited to no more than $2 million per project.

DOT regions are holding TEP workshops. For information on workshop dates and locations, contact your Regional TEP Coordinator.

Grants for Conservation Programs - Norcross Wildlife Foundation

The Norcross Wildlife Foundation provides support to nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. for their wildlife and wildland conservation efforts. Currently, the Foundation primarily supports local grassroots organizations that have difficulty raising the modest funds they need to do their critical work "in the trenches" of environmental conservation. Support is provided for land protection, program-related office and field equipment, and public-education materials. Applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed quarterly.

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Trail and Health Resources

New York State Safe Routes to School
Coordinator Hired

Safe Routes to School, a key program of the Federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU), was established to enable and encourage primary and secondary school children to walk and bicycle to school. It requires each state to hire a full-time Safe Routes to School Coordinator to manage the program. In the beginning of April, New York State appointed to the position long time Department of Transportation staff person Dwight Cunningham. Cunningham says, "At this point, we are early in development. Staff are in training and we are beginning to create information brochures and grant applications for school districts and municipalities."

Google helps you count calories burned and measure your steps

With the new Google Map Pedometer you can enter the address of the starting and ending point of your walk or point to the locations on a map and calculate the distance walked. The distance can be displayed in either miles or kilometers. A calorie converter can be also be used to determine the number of calories burned.

New on-line help for communities from Active
Living Resource Center

The Active Living Resource Center, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has launched several initiatives that will help neighborhoods and communities in their efforts to become more walkable and bicycle-friendly. The Experts Directory is a web-based listing of persons, including Parks & Trails New York staff, who have offered to provide assistance in areas such as local advocacy, public health, rail-trail projects, safe routes to school, workshops and training, community planning, transit and public transportation, and traffic engineering/traffic calming.

The new Get Started Studio, is an interactive process whereby the Active Living Resource Center (ALRC) staff works directly with communities to offer guidance on solving local problems related to creating or improving pedestrian and bicycle access and transportation. ALRC is particularly interested in working with communities that are striving to create active living opportunities for underprivileged youth. To use the Get Started Studio, start by filling out the online form.

Legislative Updates

League of Conservation Voters 2005 National
Environmental Scorecard Released

Check the recently released League of Conservation Voters 2005 Environmental Scorecard to find out how your Senators and Representatives voted on important public health and environmental issues.

Heard on the Trail

“Trail building isn't just about constructing a trail; much of it is about educating members of the community from landowners to volunteers to town officials.”
--Adele Douglas, Friends of the Little Ausable Trail, Peru NY

Calender of Events

May

National River Cleanup Week® a 501(c) (3) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise the public's awareness of the magnitude of trash accumulating in our nation's waterways.

For more information including how to find the cleanup nearest you, visit the National River Cleanup Week website.

On Monday, May 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Palmyra Inn, 955 Canandaigua Road, Palmyra and Tuesday, May 16, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises, 210 Market Street, Lockport.

  • 26—Application submission deadline for several state grant programs

Parks, Historic Preservation and Heritage Areas, Local Waterfront Revitalization, Hudson River Estuary and Environmental Restoration, and Quality Communities grant programs.

  • 31—National Trails Award Nomination Deadline

Deadline for nominations to recognize the contributions of volunteers, professionals, businesses, and other leaders working to create a national system of trails for all Americans.  Awards will be presented by American Trails at the 18th National Trails Symposium.

June

Events across the state – festivals, guided walks, trail clean ups – will celebrate the Canalway Trail. Contact Parks & Trails New York for a listing of events or to register an event.

Parks & Trails New York Accesible Parks and Trails Program, Gilbert Lake State Park, Laurens, NY.

July

  • 9 to 16—8th Annual Cycling the Erie Canal

Parks & Trails New York's eight-day, 400-mile bicycle tour from Buffalo to Albany along the historic and scenic Erie Canal. Click here for registration information and updates.

August

  • 15 to 20—2nd Annual Great Hudson Valley Pedal

Parks & Trails New York's six-day bike ride through the historic Hudson Valley from Albany to New York City using trails and local roads and visiting parks and historic sites along the way. Click here for registration information and updates.

September

Email your events related to multi-use trails and greenways for the next edition of Parks & Trails E- NEWS. Entries should include: 1) Name and date of event, 2) Brief description, 3) Where to go for more information. Submit items to: ptny@ptny.org . All listings are at the discretion of the editors and as space allows.

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