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Chestnut Ridge Park and local rail trail receive grants

FOR THE COMMUNITY — Francis Gotcsik (center) from Parks & Trails New York is pictured presenting grant checks to Ron Michnik from the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy (left) and Anne Bergantz from Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail Inc.
SPRINGVILLE — The statewide advocacy group Parks & Trails New York awarded approximately $14,000 in grants, to 10 not-for-profit park and trail organizations. The Chestnut Ridge Park Conservancy and Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail have received awards. The winners will utilize these funds to increase visibility, generate community support, grow membership and attract additional volunteers.

The Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail Inc. received $1,600 toward the production of a video, showcasing the proposed 27-mile rail trail.

The video will be used, during presentations to donors. “The video can best communicate the beautiful setting, hilly woodlands, creeks, farms and villages that the right-of-way and future rail trail passes through,” said ECRT President Anne Bergantz. “This video will help us reach and attract the community partners necessary for this effort to succeed.”

Chestnut Ridge Conservancy received $1,500, toward the design and printing of brochures and newsletters, to garner support for the organization and its efforts to restore the park infrastructure. “This generous donation from PTNY to the conservancy will have an enormous positive impact on our ability to promote our organization to the public,” said Chestnut Ridge Conservatory Board of Directors Member Ron Michnik. “We expect it to help increase awareness of the park itself and increase the visitation and usage of this local treasure.”

The PTNY program’s Growing the Grassroots capacity-building grants have a stated focus on developing processes and resources that will allow park and trail groups to grow and foster the expansion, stewardship and promotion of New York’s parks and trails.

Other organizations receiving 2013 Growing the Grassroots grants and its resources include Friends of Letchworth State Park, Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, Friends of Schodack Island State Park Inc., Friends of Ulysses S. Grant Cottage, Friends of Peach Hill Park, Great Swamp Conservancy, New York City Water Trail Association, Winona Forest Recreation Association and Adirondack trail advocacy group.

More information about the Growing the Grassroots grant program and Parks & Trails New York may be found at or by calling 518-434-1583.

For more information about the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, visit, email or call 771-2453.

More information about the Chestnut Ridge Conservancy may be found at

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