There was not a single wound from the giant ribbon-cutting scissors, but plenty of applause as a group of folks gathered at the Queen City Trail trailhead on Saturday to celebrate Pennsylvania Trails Month.
The event included a guided history walk, a ribbon-cutting for the six new outdoor interpretive panels along the trail, dedication of the mural on the nearby bridge and volunteer awards presented by the Council on Greenways and Trails.
Titusville Mayor Dennis Peden welcomed those in attendance as he acknowledged the beautiful weather that “we always have in Titusville.”
Peden spoke of how the area is rich with things to see and do, as well as rich in volunteers. “The trail project couldn’t happen without volunteers,”he said.
Peden also mentioned that just a “couple weeks ago” members of Titusville City Council approved creating a connection from the trailhead to Fleming Park. “Council is doing all that it can do to make that connection happen,” he said.
The first of the Greenways awards went to William Moore. It was presented to him by his cousin, Greg Borland, a member of the board of directors of Rail 66. Moore received the Greenways Volunteer of the Year award.
Borland told the crowd that “Bill” came back to the local area after he retired from a hectic life in Washington D.C. He suggested that Moore has been busier since his return.
Borland said Moore has experience as an engineer, but he often “gets his feet wet” as he helps with trail construction. He cited one such occasion, when following damage from a severe rain storm, Moore got his boots stuck in the mud.
Clarion University of Pennsylvania was the recipient of the Greenways Partner of the Year award. Several students who have been involved in the creation of the Clarion Loop Trail accepted the award. The 1.5-mile Clarion Loop Trail links the University Suites with the Clarion River. It is also a branch of the North Country Trail.
The Greenways Neighbor of the Year award was presented to Titusville Community Development Agencies (TCDA). The agency’s Chief Financial officer Kristen Kerr accepted the award.
Kerr told those gathered that the Queen City section of the trail had received upgrades thanks to private donations. The upgrades included solar lights, picnic tables, benches, a bike rack, brush clearing and the mural that adorns the nearby bridge. The mural was painted in 2019 by area artist Berry Breene.
Dedication of the bridge was part of the day’s festivities. TCDA Executive Director Laurie Baker spoke about the bridge. The bridge, considered by some to be an eyesore prior to the addition of the mural, was once a busy location. Baker’s mother was present at the event. “My mother, who is 96, remembers crossing that bridge about four times each day,” Baker said.
Anyone can nominate individuals, groups, companies or organizations for Greenways awards. In the past five years the awards have gone to outstanding advocates or developers of greenways and trails in Crawford, Clarion or Venango counties. A one-page nomination form can be accessed at nwpagreenways.org. The deadline for 2021 nominations is April 15, 2021.
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