Nearly 100 regional residents and officials assembled this past Saturday, Apr. 24 at the Foxburg Rt. 58 Bridge for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the bike trail to Emlenton. Festivities began with trumpeter Royce Hedrick playing the traditional Call to the Post at The Kentucky Derby to signify that it is now time to build this bike trail, after close to 20 years of talking and dreaming. President of ARTinCC Board of Directors, Bob Jennings, introduced the other Board members, Anne Marron, Judy Lentz, Vernon Kern, Stephen Buzard, Selina Pedi and Dennis Keyes. Due recognition was given to Raymond and Bob Hunt, Guy Shoup, Carl Wolfe, and their respective attorneys, including Jeannine Guth in Emlenton. Much praise was given to Arthur Steffee and John S Cubbon, whose generosity resulted in the bike trail obtaining land rights originally held by Samuel Mickle Fox and his many Heirs, who owned 6,000 acres in this immediate area from 1796.
The impending Trailhead purchase and construction will be accomplished through a DCNR grant, matching a very generous local donor. Key local officials whose support make this possible, were in attendance and were recognized. Representing Clarion County, were State Senator Scott Hutchinson, State Rep. Donna Oberlander, Clarion County Commissioner Ed Heasley, (Ted Tharan and Wayne Brosius having just met with us), Foxburg Mayor Stephen Buzard as well as Borough Council Members. Venango County was represented by Commissioner Staff Member Melanie Bailey and ORA Official Selina Pedi. Photos were taken of the assembled dignitaries, and the entire multitude, all with smiles on their faces under a brilliant sun on perhaps the finest Spring day so far this year. Other Venango County top officials would have gladly attended as well, but they were at the same moment dedicating a long sought boat launch in Oil City. A Butler County Commissioner also had a previous engagement and sent his regrets. Many more photos can be found on our Facebook PAGE and Facebook Group
The formalities over, the crowd focused on reuniting with friends not seen for many months in hiding from the covid virus. It was great to be outdoors where we could social distance and enjoy a taste of the good times ahead. ARTinCC officials summarized their goals for coming months, and urged everyone to walk the site, and dream of how a small community park might arise from the portion of the space not devoted exclusively to the Trailhead. A number of officials and others walked the first 700’ of undeveloped bike trail, and discussed design options and construction challenges.
The event closed with pleas for supporters to submit a Volunteer Form here on our website, and use a credit card or PayPal to Donate to the bike Trail. Also, we have launched a Facebook PAGE so that everyone can follow progress, post photos, and comment on what is happening.
You can also check out our Facebook GROUP where we exchange stories and photos with trail enthusiasts and other trail groups from the tri-state area.
Many thanks to those who attended! It’s time to get involved. We are ready to start clearing this trail with your help. Volunteer, donate! Become a member. Become a Sponsor. Welcome everyone! Let’s do this!