2006 Annual Report

Promotion and Public Outreach

Print Media

Genesee Valley Greenway events appeared in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - Region, Living, and Weekend sections, Living in Rochester annual issue; Genesee Express; City; Lake and Valley Clarion; The Livingston County News; and area shoppers.  “Visit New York’s Terrific Trails - Genesee Valley Greenway” was part of a special issue of Green Space, the Parks & Trails New York newsletter.  The greenway was mentioned in an article on the Erie Canal in the Fall 2006 issue of Connections, The National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse Newsletter. The Genesee Valley Greenway was also contained in the 2006 Livingston County Tourism Guide, the Greater Rochester Visitor’s Guide, and described and pictured in the Finger Lakes Tourism Guide.

Web Site

FOGVG continues to work to improve its web site to making it more appealing, useful, and easier to navigate.  New trail maps have been added to the site and an effort is being made to provide updated  details on access points, detours, trail links, and accommodations near the trail.  This year Adopt-a-Trail Report forms were modified to allow adopters to file work reports electronically.  The site also allows people to submit FOGVG volunteer forms electronically and we have received a good response to this feature. In addition, the site includes photographs of the Greenway, information on the organization, the history of the corridor and FOGVG, a description of the trail and nearby attractions, and a schedule of events as well as links to other web sites.  The Greenway is included in the Finger Lakes, Livingston County, Routes 5&20, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle web sites as well as the Finger Lakes Trail, Rails to Trails Conservancy, Parks and Trails New York and American Hiking Society web sites.

Talks

 A power point program on the Genesee Valley Greenway was presented by President Ned Holmes at a New York State Canal Corporation meeting and also as an OASIS program, both in the Rochester area. Joan Schumaker presented "From Seneca Trails to a Greenway," another power point program that features the Genesee Valley Greenway, to the Nunda Historical Society.

Information Tables and Exhibits

FOGVG staffed informational tables at several events including: the Adirondack Mountain Club Outdoor Expo, Mt. Morris Dam Open House, Mt. Morris’s Sunday in the Park, Rochester Area Snowmobile Expo, the Livingston County Snowmobile Expo, DEC Hunting & Fishing Days in Avon, and the Highlander Cycle Tour in Bristol Valley.  An exhibit, maps, and information on the Greenway are available year round at the Mt. Morris Dam Visitors Center.   

Response to Public Inquiries

The public called, wrote, and emailed the FOGVG seeking information regarding the Genesee Valley Greenway.  Maps were the most frequently requested item, but there were also inquires about accommodations and other attractions in the area as well as use and maintenance of the trail.

Publications

Unfortunately, only one issue of the FOGVG newsletter, Greenway News, was published in 2006. Approximately 1200 copies were distributed to members, key individuals or groups, elected officials, and adjacent landowners in Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming, and Allegany counties.  Additional copies of the newsletter are provided to persons seeking information about the Greenway and at information tables.  In 2007 we hope to publish at least three issues of the Greenway News.

The long awaited FOGVG informational brochure with trail map, supported by a donation from HSBC Bank, was published in Spring 2006 and almost all 5000 copies have been distributed.  A second printing of this brochure is planned for Spring 2007.

Community Partnerships

FOGVG continued to participate in the Genesee Region Trails Coalition, a network of governments and trails organizations in the region dedicated to advocating and raising funds for establishing a regional trails network.

Grant money provided to the Friends through the Nichols H. Noyes Memorial Hospital Healthy Heart Program is being spent for improvements to the Greenway in Livingston County. One of the goals of this program is to increase the physical activity of Livingston County citizens and it is hoped that enhancements to the Greenway will result in increased usage.  Twenty-five new benches have been installed at approximately one-half mile intervals.  A kiosk at York Landing will be built as an Eagle Scout project in spring 2007 and funds will also be used toward boulders and gravel for parking lot development.  The Friends are most appreciative of these additional funds for Greenway improvements in Livingston County.

Organization

Elections for 2006 resulted in all officers continuing from last year: Ned Holmes, President; Roger Easton, Vice-President, Sue Knauer, Secretary; and Joan Schumaker, Treasurer.  Several Directors left the board for various personal reasons in  2006 but four new board members will be joining us in 2007.

The FOGVG Board of Directors continues to work to implement a viable Committee structure.  The web site resulted in responses from more than a dozen volunteers and some of these were tapped to work on projects in 2006.  Plans are underway to expand the use of these and other volunteers in 2007 by re-establishing local committees in the communities along the Greenway.

A part time office manager was hired in April 2006 in hopes of improving FOGVG communications with the public and record keeping.  Unfortunately, this person resigned to take a full time teaching job in September 2006.  We hope to have another office manager in place in 2007.  The Friends also plan to hire an Executive Assistant to represent us and work with DEC Region 9 staff on Greenway issues, primarily in Allegany County.

Trail Development and Maintenance

Trail Maintenance

The Recreational Trails Program Grant equipment arrived in 2006 but too late in the season to be used for mowing the Greenway. The new tractor and five attachments should certainly help with Greenway development and maintenance in 2007.

For a number of years DEC crews in Region 8 have been mowing the trail twice each year.  However, this year they did not have sufficient funds for maintenance and were only able to mow once.  A call went out to trail adopters with mowing capability and they came through to fill the void.  Unfortunately, trail users sometimes found sections of trail a little overgrown.  We hope to avoid this in 2007.  Region 9 DEC crews, along with trail adopters were able to maintain open sections of trail in Allegany County.

Volunteers again spent approximately 2000 hours clearing vegetation from the trail and historic structures, mowing, picking up trash, painting gates, meeting to discuss trail planning and management, and organizing events.  Volunteers also donated the use of their equipment and the necessary gas and oil as well as their mileage to reach their adopted sections.  As volunteers do not generally place a monetary value on these contributions, the magnitude of the contributions of volunteers to the Genesee Valley Greenway is greater than reflected in the numbers in this report.
 
Trail Adopters in 2006:

In addition, FOGVG Board members donated approximately 900 hours to membership, board meetings, special events, and special meetings. 

Trail Planning and Development

FOGVG continues to work in conjunction with project partners, DEC, OPRHP , and the New York State Department of Transportation on a number of documents, policies and initiatives needed to design, plan, and operate the Greenway including:

Public Recreation

The number of persons using the Genesee Valley Greenway for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling continued to grow during 2006 as the trail became increasingly well known.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that bicycling remains the predominant non winter activity.

Outings/Events

Organized activities focused on the variety of recreational pursuits possible on the Greenway and afforded persons unfamiliar with the resource an opportunity for a guided initial experience.  The Geneseo Curves organized a walk-a-thon on the Greenway in July 2006 to benefit a local charity. Local snowmobile clubs and hiking groups also organized events and the Letchworth State Park staff hosted walks and bike trips on the Greenway section in the park, as they have in the past.

2006 marked FOGVG's fifteenth celebration of June National Trails Day with volunteers working to clean up sections of trail. Ron Cicoria held his seventh annual horseback ride in September.  Irene Szabo again organized numerous guided hikes in conjunction with the Finger Lakes Trail Conference.  These hikes involve both the Greenway and the Finger Lakes Trail.

The November Annual Meeting was held at the Leicester Union Presbyterian Church and offered a guided walk at York Landing prior to the meeting. A slide program on the Pennsylvania Railroad, Rochester Branch, was presented by William Reddy and Howard Appell.

J. Schumaker   4/24/07