In this issue:


PTNY grants available to grow your organization


Growing the Grassroots capacity building grants deadline Nov. 12



Looking to grow your organization?  Increase your membership?  Enhance your communications?  Then check out Parks & Trails New York's 
Growing the Grassroots Capacity Building Grants. The grants aim to enhance the long-term sustainability of park and trail not-for-profit organizations by helping them better fulfill their missions; improve their reach, effectiveness, and impact; leverage resources; and increase community support for and involvement in park and trail planning, development and/or stewardship.

Grants of up to $3000 will fund activities that help develop and strengthen the skills, processes and resources that not-for-profit organizations need to survive.  An informational webinar for potential applicants will be held at noon on October 16. Application deadline is November 12, 2013.


Since PTNY initiated the Growing the Grassroots grants program in 2009, we have helped 46 organizations in 26 New York counties expand their fundraising and membership campaigns, enhance their public programming, redesign or create new websites, and develop marketing materials. 


Bicyclists Bring Business! roundtable and bike-a-round October 9 and 10 in Central NY


Bicyclists Bring Business

Bicyclists Bring Business!" to be held Wednesday, October 9, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Kallet Civic Center in Oneida. Learn more about the demographics and needs of the bicycle tourist as well as tips for making communities and businesses more bicycle friendly and attractive to other outdoor recreationalists.   


Attendees will receive a copy of Parks & Trails New York's handbook, "Bicyclists Bring Business: A Guide for Attracting Bicyclists to New York's Canal Communities."


The following day, Thursday, Oct 10, participants will have an opportunity to participate in a bike-a-around and experience the Canalway Trail and the City of Oneida from the perspective of a cycling tourist, beginning at the Durhamville Aqueduct trailhead (Route 46) at 10:00 a.m. followed by a lunch discussion at La Vie Boheme Bistro, 109 Madison, Street, Oneida.


The event is sponsored by Parks & Trails New York, New York State Canal Corporation, and co-hosted by City of Oneida Recreation and the Oneida Rail Trail Committee. RSVP to Parks & Trails New York or call (518) 434-1583. Registration is required for the October 10 event.


Cycling the Erie Canal riders tell Governor Cuomo: Close the Gaps


PTNY recently delivered several hundred post cards to Governor Cuomo asking for his support in closing the gaps in the Erie Canalway Trail. The cards were signed by participants in PTNY's Cycling the Erie Canal bike tour - people who know firsthand how important a fully complete, off-road trail can be to a safe and enjoyable riding experience.


Presently, 277 miles of trail are complete - only 84 miles are unfinished. Of those 84 miles, another 14 are either being designed or under construction, leaving about 70 miles that must be developed.

When finished the Erie Canalway Trail will be the LONGEST intra-state multi-use trail in the nation. With the cachet of the world renowned Erie Canal, the trail is destined to become a first class international tourism destination, but it cannot achieve that greatness and the communities along the trail cannot reap the full economic benefit unless it is complete. You too can
let the Governor know the value of closing the gaps - every voice counts.


Decade of working with communities to develop trails bearing fruit


PTNY is currently assisting 10 communities across the state with their trail development efforts as part of its Healthy Trails, Healthy People Program.  We are proud of the progress being made in these communities. 


Foot race raises money for trail improvements


trail runner On July 21 the Sullivan Striders running club held their 4th annual O&W Rail Trail race in the Sullivan County hamlet of Mountaindale.  The event has doubled in size since its launch -- this year attracting 100 runners and walkers and netting $1,800 for the trail.


Ribbon cutting for the Cayuga Recreational Trail in the Finger Lakes


cutting the ribbon The Village of Cayuga Recreational Trail officially opened in July with prize drawings, a trail walk with a naturalist, and yoga along the trail at the Cayuga Lake waterfront. The ceremonies capped several years of extensive work by the trail committee to develop a walking trail connecting the waterfront and the village school and park and establish a fitness trail loop within the park. There is still more trail to be developed, along with a hand-carry boat launch, but already residents are enjoying the existing trail.


PTNY mini-grants augment trail efforts


PTNY recently selected three Healthy Trails, Healthy People  communities to receive small grants to help them with their trail projects.

  • Cayuga County's Montezuma Historical Society will use $900 to aid in design and layout of a new website focused on the Byron Lapp and other historic Erie Canal trails within Montezuma Heritage Park
  •  In its efforts to build awareness and support for development of a 27-mile rail trail in western New York, Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail Inc., will use an award of $650 to purchase vinyl window stickers to better identify the group's thousands of supporters and more publicly proclaim support for the trail in the five towns where the trail will be located.
  • An award of $180 to the Mexico Chamber of Commerce will allow the group to purchase Lexan plastic sheets for the two trailhead kiosks being constructed by an Eagle Scout for the village's Black Creek Trail in central New York.


PTNY's Growing the Grassroots grant puts trail brochures in hands of Catskill community residents
O&W Logo A PTNY Growing the Grassroots Capacity Building Grant, along with considerable donated professional design assistance, made it possible for the Fallsburg Rails to Trails Committee to create and print a new membership brochure highlighting ways to get involved with the four-mile O&W Rail Trail. The Town agreed to include the brochure in its water bill mailing so that it would reach all year-round and seasonal residents.


"We are very happy with our new brochure and the increase we've seen in trail use. We've been able to spread the word about the trail, especially to summer visitors, many of whom had no idea the trail existed," said Allen Frishman, leader of the Rails to Trails Committee.


Parks & Trails New York is helping the Town of Fallsburg increase usage of eight miles of existing, but underutilized, multi-use trail within a small Catskill mountain community as part of its Healthy Trails Healthy People Program.


Looming threats to federal funding for trail and bike/ped projects


Bike-ped and trail advocates be alert!  When Congress reconvenes after the summer recess, the attempts to eliminate funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program of the new federal transportation legislation, MAP-21, may resurface. Hard to believe, but some House lawmakers want to do away with this primary funding source for trails, sidewalks, bike lanes, and other community infrastructure that supports walking and biking. The only way threats like this are defeated is when lawmakers hear from their constituents --t hat's you! We'll be closely following the situation and will let you know when your voice is needed.


Recreational Trails Program safe in NYS...for now

MAP-21 affords states the opportunity each year to opt out of participating in the
Recreational Trails Program (RTP) which provides funding for motorized and non-motorized recreational trail projects. We are pleased to report that funding for RTP in New York is safe! Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for your continued support.

Taking a look at Complete Streets in NYS


Recently, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) released a website that explains Complete Streets principles for government officials, residents of New York and other interested groups and invited public feedback. The new website is an important first step toward implementing the law passed in 2011, which requires state, county and local agencies to consider the convenience and mobility of all users when developing transportation projects that receive state and federal funding. PTNY looks forward to working with NYSDOT on implementing Complete Streets and will be participating in the agency's Complete Streets Advisory Meeting later in the month.


NY Academy of Medicine releases Complete Streets report


As part of the Designing a Strong and Healthy New York (DASH-NY) initiative, in which PTNY participates, the Center for Evaluation and Applied Research (CEAR) at the New York Academy of Medicine has also examined implementation of Complete Streets in New York State and drafted a report that reviews the strengths and weaknesses of existing municipal, county, and state wide Complete Streets policies and presents stakeholder perspectives on the implementation of Complete Streets in a random sample of municipalities.


PARK(ing) Day Sept 20


Stop by and visit our PARK(ing) spot in Albany


Got a creative idea for converting that metered parking spot in front of your home or business to something greener? On Friday, September 20 you can join PTNY and others around the world and do just that.


PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event in which artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. The idea is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human least until the meter runs out! Learn more and list your spot.


If you're in Albany, stop by PTNY's PARK(ing) spot on North Pearl Street between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm and see how we are transforming a parking space into a park!


News from State Parks


Roberto Clemente State Park celebrates 40 years


New York City's first state park celebrated its 40th anniversary with the opening of a new $1.2 million playground. To commemorate Roberto Clemente State Park's anniversary, officials also broke ground on a second project - the renovation of a baseball field.


The improvements at Roberto Clemente are part of a statewide revitalization of the park system. Over the last two years, Governor Cuomo and the state Legislature have committed $179 million to improve state parks and historic sites across the state, spurring job creation and economic development and boosting tourism efforts.


Learn more about the celebration and improvements and see photos from the day. 


New state park in Buffalo

A new state park is coming to Buffalo.  Plans to reshape the Queen City's Outer Harbor include development of Gallagher Beach State Park, which will be Buffalo's first swimming beach.  As part of the plan to transform Buffalo's waterfront, 400 acres of land owned by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority will be transferred to the state.

I Love My Park Day Sponsor REI to offer Outdoor School in State Parks


National outdoor retailer REI has partnered with State Parks to offer its Outdoor School programs at five state parks in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island. Programs include hiking, orienteering, and nature photography. Outings will be led by REI Outdoor School Instructors. All gear is provided as part of the registration fee. See the fall class schedule.


REI has been a sponsor of I Love My Park Day since the event was launched. 


For more news on state parks and the Friends groups that support them, see the summer issue of our park Friends eNewsletter, You Gotta Have Friends.


Thank you to our Green Partners



A big shout out to our 2013 bike tour sponsors, especially our Cycling the Erie Canal Premier State Sponsor, the
NYS Canal Corporation, our Official Bank Sponsor, First Niagara Foundation, our Premier Health Care Sponsor, MVP, and our Cycling the Hudson Valley Champion Corporate Sponsor Con Edison.


It's a green party!


Environmental Protection Fund celebrates 20 years


New York's environment celebrated an important milestone this summer: the 20th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). 


In the years since, the EPF has provided more than $2.7 billion for important environmental projects - from the protection and stewardship of state and local parks, trails and greenways, to water quality enhancements, recycling programs and farmland protection. Thanks to the EPF, for example, nine new state parks were created and 32,000 acres were added to state parks system. In 2012, New York made additions to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail in Dutchess County through EPF funding.


Governor Cuomo, together with the Legislature, added $19 million to the Fund in this year's budget - the first increase since the recent economic crisis - which will enhance critical programs that benefit every county in New York State.


PTNY is proud to be a member of the Friends of New York's Environment, a broad partnership of more than 100 organizations that work in support of the EPF. Read more.


Bicycle tour on Erie Canalway Trail raises awareness of the capabilities of the mobility impaired


Members of the Our Ability team crossing the finishline
Members of the Our Ability team cross the finish line

John Robinson, quadruple amputee and founder of the people with disabilities advocacy organization, Our Ability, arrived in Albany on July 8 after more than two weeks traveling across New York State as part of Journey Along the Erie Canal, the largest disabilities awareness event in state history.


The tour  began on June 23 in Tonawanda and featured Robinson and members of Our Ability biking, boating, running and walking the Canalway Trail to Albany, as a way of raising the public's consciousness of the strides that people with disabilities have made and continue to make.  Along the way, advocacy groups and organizations supporting the rights of people with disabilities joined Robinson for parts of the trip. PTNY provided assistance by contributing our expertise on trip planning and logistics to John and his team. 


Earthshare logo


Parks & Trails New York is a member of Earth Share New York, an alliance of leading nonprofit environmental organizations. For more information about workplace giving to Parks & Trails New York and Earth Share, check out








Celebrating more than 25 years of advocacy for New York's parks and trails

Trailfinder Trail of the Month




Jim Schug Trail in the Finger Lakes


The scenic Jim Schug Trail follows the Lehigh Valley Railroad (LVR) corridor for 4.2 miles in Tompkins and Cortland Counties and passes Dryden Lake, which provides the opportunity for boating, fishing and ice fishing, including wheelchair accessible fishing platforms. Wildflowers abound along the cinder and grass trail and the wooded areas show breathtaking fall colors as well as some of the best birding in the Finger Lakes region.


Check out the Jim Schug Trail and more of NY's multi-use trails on PTNY's TrailFinder.


Save The Date for PTNY's annual award reception in NYC - Nov 13


Join us on Wednesday, November 13 for Parks & Trails New York's annual George W. Perkins Award Reception at The University Club in NYC.


This year's honorees embody the passion and dedication that will inspire park and environmental leaders for decades to come. We are proud to be honoring:

  • Citi for its exemplary commitment to New York City through its investment in the widely successful Citi Bike program.
  • NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan for her extraordinary leadership in transforming New York's streets for bicyclists and pedestrians and vastly improving the city's physical, social and economic environment.
  • Four Freedoms Park Conservancy for its dedication to building and operating a beautiful and meaningful green space on Roosevelt Island -- Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park, New York's newest state park.
Tickets available October 1st. We hope to see you on November 13th

Congratulations to our thousandth Erie Canalway Trail End-to-Ender


William and Nancy Moses of Midland Park, New Jersey made the most of their summer by bicycling from Niagara Falls to Albany along the Erie Canalway Trail and then through Hudson Valley all the way home! They used their 13-day, 560-mile trip at the end of June to train for their fourth Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride Against Cancer in July in honor of their son Jason, a cancer survivor.


William, who is retired and bicycles every day, came across the Canalway Trail when looking online for bicycle trails.


William and Nancy set out on their Trek hybrid bikes, complete with gear in their rear panniers, stopping in small towns along the trail, eating at local restaurants, and staying in area hotels. What the pair most enjoyed about their trip was the people they met. For achieving the milestone of becoming our thousandth registered End-to-Ender, the Moses family will receive an LL Bean gift card.


Congratulations Bill and Nancy!


Have you traveled the length of the Erie Canalway Trail? If so, register as an End-to-Ender today!


Welcome new staff



Drew Pollak-Bruce has joined Parks & Trails New York as a Project Coordinator. Drew has a background in community, recreation and environmental planning with a bachelor's degree in political science and history from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master's degree in regional planning from Cornell University. While at Cornell, he concentrated his studies on the confluence of communities and public lands, taking classes in urban planning, natural resources, tourism and GIS.

Previous to joining PTNY Drew worked with the SE Group in Frisco, Colorado as an environmental and community planner, working on environmental analyses and land use plans with a focus on recreation and public lands. 


Drew just received a Colorado American Planning Association Honor Award for the Hunter Creek-Smuggler Mountain Cooperative Plan. The plan was recognized for innovative/creative partnerships and collaboration in planning for the public and private open space surrounding the Town of Aspen in Colorado.


Drew is an avid hiker, biker and backpacker and is also an accomplished snowboarder. 

Cycling the Hudson Valley -another exciting tour




More than 150 cyclists, ages 11 to 78, participated in PTNY's Cycling the Hudson Valley, a six-day bicycle tour from Albany to New York City held July 30th to August 4th. Representing 16 states, Canada, Great Britain, and Switzerland, riders took in the sights of the Hudson River Valley, from Olana to Bear Mountain, Walkway Over the Hudson to West Point.


Check out photos from the ride, and see how much fun our riders had.


Do you support an Adirondack Rail Trail?  Let your voice be heard!  


NYS DEC and DOT are seeking public comments on whether to amend the Unit Management Plan  (UMP) for the 119-mile transportation corridor extending from Remsen to Lake Placid in the Adirondacks. For more than two years, Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates have gathered public and local government support for creation of a multi-use trail on 90 miles of the corridor between Lake Placid and Old Forge. As the UMP guides how the corridor will be used and managed, revisiting the 18-year old UMP is essential to any trail development effort. Four public meetings are scheduled around the region. Comments also may be submitted by September 25. Read PTNY's comments in support of trail development.


Amtrak experiments with Bikes on Board


PTNY was excited to participate in a series of bicycle demonstration rides at the end of July on Amtrak's Empire Service  and Ethan Allen routes. The demonstration rides gave volunteer bicyclists the opportunity to test roll-on bicycle service and provide feedback for Amtrak officials. 


Bicyclists were joined by local elected officials, including New York State Senators Betty Little and Brad Hoylman, and representatives from area chambers of commerce and tourism agencies. 


PTNY has been a long-time advocate for roll-on bicycle service on Amtrak trains along the Erie Canalway Trail corridor, working with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to expand opportunities for bicycle tourism across New York State. Read Senator Gillibrand's recent press release calling on Amtrak to include bicycle racks in new baggage cars.


Wow!  5,000+ Facebook followers!


Thank you to the more than 5,000 park and trail lovers who follow us on Facebook. We love you, too!


Become part of the on-line park and trail community. Start following us on Facebook today.  


Also visit us on Twitter and Pinterest.


2013 Greenway Conservancy Small Grants available


The Hudson River Valley Greenway is offering matching grants from $1,000 to $20,000 for trail projects, including: planning and design; construction and rehabilitation; and education and interpretation. 


Applications are available on the Greenway website, by calling (518) 473-3835 or emailing the Greenway.


Application deadline is September 13, 2013.   

Grants available for Erie Canalway projects


The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is accepting applications for its Erie Canalway Grants. Matching grants from $2,000 to $7,000 will be awarded for proposals related to historic preservation, conservation, recreation, interpretation, tourism, and community development that serve to advance the goals and strategies of the Erie Canalway Preservation and Management Plan.


Application deadline is October 25, 2013.


Champlain Canalway Trail bicycle tour a success




On Sunday, August 11, the Champlain Canalway Trail Working Group hosted its second annual guided bicycle tour along the Champlain Canalway Trail between Hudson Crossing Park in Northumberland and Fort Edward.


About 50 participants, plus 8 support volunteers, pedaled approximately 32 miles, stopping along the way to explore the Saratoga Monument, abandoned canal locks, Rogers Island Visitor Center and other historic sites, and the Yacht Basin in Fort Edward.


The Champlain Canalway Trail Working Group is a volunteer, ad hoc partnership comprised of local and regional canal and trail groups, public agencies, and park and preservation organizations.


Seventeen miles of the 62-mile Champlain Canalway Trail have been completed, with about 14 miles of trail in the planning stages


Hudson River Valley Ramble events take place throughout September


The Hudson River Valley Ramble celebrates the history, culture and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, as well as the amazing landscape, communities, and trails throughout the region.


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