By Jennifer Weber

On Monday, Nov. 6, Erie County Legislature Chairman John Mills, along with Village of Springville Mayor Bill Krebs and board members from the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway (WNYSSB) introducing a new tourist sign highlighting the Pop Warner Rail Trail.

Erie County helped to fund this addition to the Scenic Byway and Rail Trail. “My second home is here in Springville” said Chairman Mills, “the work of the scenic byway and rail trail turned out to be a home run, this is the critical mass for this project happening right here in Springville.”

The Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway unites Erie and Cattaraugus Counties into a regional attraction for tourists through a 108-mile scenic loop that runs from Orchard Park through Concord, Ashford and Ellicottville, ending at the southern Ellicottville town line.

Bob Lennartz, President of WNYSSB, stated, “We came up with idea of Beauty of the Byway as a theme for the year and held a bus tour a few weeks ago that visited several of the spots along the byway, including the exhibits at the Concord Historical Society here in Springville. In addition, the Springville Center for the Arts held a first class event that highlighted all the sites you see along the scenic byway.”

This new sign located at the Pop Warner Rail Trail is another addition of the WNYSSB interpretive sign project located at various notable locations in towns and villages along the Byway route including Concord Community Park, Godard Memorial Hall, Sprague Brook Park and the Heritage Village Park.

“The Erie Rail Trail is very pleased to be apart of what is going on here in Springville,” said Gary Willert, co-chair of the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail.”Springville has led the way and continues to show their leadership to other municipalities that are attached to this line. We are very fortunate for the work that has been done here.”

Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail is working to convert an inactive 27-mile line of the Buffalo-Pittsburgh Railway into a multi-use recreational trail connecting Orchard Park, Aurora, West Falls, Colden, East Concord, Springville and West Valley. The Springville “Pop Warner” Rail Trail is a 1.8-mile trail and the first section to be developed and open for public use.