By Jennifer Weber

The Springville Area community, several officials from Erie County and representatives from the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail came out to support the “Pop Warner” Rails Trail Grand Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016.

The Springville “Pop Warner” Rail Trail is a 1.8-mile trail along the discontinued Buffalo and Pittsburgh Railroad right-of-way, which runs from Orchard Park to the Town of Ashford and is the first section of the trail to be developed and open for public use.

Springville Mayor Bill Krebs welcomed the crowd announcing that the Village of Springville has been patiently been working since 2009 to transform this abandoned 19th century corridor into a multi-use trail for village residents.

“The trail fits into our comprehensive plan and to all our smart grown initiatives to make Springville a more sustainable and better place to live.” said Mayor Krebs. “We believe that someday this trail will link the Niagara greenway 25 to 35 miles to the north to Allegany State Park and Springville will be the trail head right in the center of it all.”

“(Springville) has a very clear vision for what a corridor like this can mean for the health, the quality of life and the economy of all of the communities along this line.” said Fran Gotcsik, Parks and Trails NY Senior Consultant.

The Trail was funded in part by a $12,500 grant from the Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation.

“This (project) was a slam dunk for raising money,” said Grover Riefler, President of the Springville-Griffith Community Education Foundation. “We asked a dozen folks for $1,000 bucks and put their names on benches and tables and not one person turned us down.”

In addition to local and state funding, the trail utilized other recycled materials in order to complete the project.

“It was music to my ears after talking to Ken (Kostowniak) from Public Works this morning to learn that this incredibly worthwhile project as done and completed in an extremely frugal manner,” said Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw. “Posts that keep vehicles out were actually recycled from a local park and the trail itself is made from used recycled millings from local road projects.”

“What you’re doing here in the Village of Springville as far as building your center is part of what we see regionally throughout Erie County,” stated Tom Hersey, Erie County Commissioner of Environment and Planning. “This is important to sustain our economy and build our communities.”

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