INCREASED AND NOT IMPAIRED
State Grant to Town of Fallsburg for Rail Trail Expansion
HURLEYVILLE, November 2020– State Senator Jen Metzger was in Hurleyville last month, joining local leaders, Sullivan Renaissance, and The Center for Discovery, to announce a $200,000 State and Municipal Facilities Capital (SAM) grant secured by her office for the Sullivan O&W Rail Trail Expansion Project in South Fallsburg.
The funding will help the Town acquire needed properties beneath and adjacent to the rail bed, enabling trail development and expanded access to the Neversink River, and contributing to over 13 miles of continuous trails.
Once finalized, the new acquisition would provide an almost continuous trail from Ferndale to the Neversink River at Woodridge, including the Fallsburg tunnel.
“I worked on rail trail development in my community when I served in local government, and I’ve seen the kind of transformative impact it can have on the local economy and on community quality of life,” Senator Metzger said. “Rail trails are accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability, and are truly a benefit to the whole community. These trails are also a magnet for tourism, bringing visitors to our downtowns and to our local businesses. I am thrilled to be able to help support the expansion of Sullivan County’s rail trail, and applaud the collaborative efforts of towns, the County, and community partners like Sullivan Renaissance and The Center for Discovery to create a continuous rail trail through Sullivan communities.”
Fallsburg Supervisor Steve Vegliante added, “I am proud to stand next to the Senator today, and welcome her help in rebuilding this trail system throughout our Town. Senator Metzger has consistently put the people of this Town and her entire Senate District first, and with this help we will be completing a trail system of over 13 miles, linking our hamlets and offering much needed outdoor recreation. This project would not be possible without her commitment to our Town.”
Sullivan County Legislator Luis Alvarez, who represents District Six, which includes Hurleyville, was also on hand for the event.
“Thank you so much for what you do for Sullivan County,” Mr. Alvarez said to Senator Metzger, “I was very fortunate to have worked for 35 years for the Sheriff’s Department because it gave me the ability, the knowledge, and the understanding of what Sullivan County really looks like. I’ve always seen the beauty of Sullivan County, and people come to Sullivan specifically to experience its beauty. It’s magnificent what we’re doing here—opening this to the people of Sullivan County–to people from outside. This trail has a lot of history.”
Sullivan Renaissance Executive Director Denise Frangipane spoke about the effectiveness of the partnerships that have made the various rail trail projects in the county a reality.
“The trailheads and the areas of trail are as unique as each of the hamlets they touch on,” Ms. Frangipane said. “We need the public, private, and community partnership to make it succeed. Sullivan Renaissance has been involved and we’re committed to staying involved. We’ll be there for any crossing or station that we can possibly be supportive of, and look forward to enjoying the trails together.”
“We are so grateful for Senator Metzger’s efforts to secure a $200,000 grant for the Town of Fallsburg’s Sullivan O&W Rail Trail Expansion Project,” Patrick H. Dollard, President and CEO of The Center for Discovery said in a statement. “For more than a decade, The Center for Discovery has been leading a comprehensive effort to reimagine what it means to be a fully inclusive and sustainable community in Hurleyville. Thanks to major partnerships with local government, the Open Space Institute, SUNY Sullivan, Sullivan Renaissance, and a number of individuals and private foundations, we have been able to transform Hurleyville into a viable, fully integrated Main Street that includes new business ventures and recreational opportunities. The Rail Trail is a signature component of the hamlet’s – and the region’s – revitalization, and we couldn’t be more grateful for Senator Metzger’s unwavering support.
Village of Woodridge Mayor Joan Collins also attended the presentation, and expressed appreciation for the financial help in furthering the village’s ongoing effort to build and improve the rail trail system.
“The Village of Woodridge is thrilled to see the progression of the improvements to the O & W Rail Trail, a project we have been working on with the Town of Fallsburg for many years,” Ms. Collins said. “We appreciate Senator Metzger’s attention to and support of this project that enhances our community and is an asset to our residents.”
[About our headline: Before, after and during his presidency, Teddy Roosevelt was a great champion of nature and of the natural beauty of our nation. He pioneered the preservation of that beauty and was well known as a proponent of conservation. He famously wrote: “There is a delight in the hardy life of the open. There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm. The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value. Conservation means development as much as it does protection.”]