Updated: May 6
ARTinCC Board President
John Straitiff, Ex. Dir. PAGO; Ed Heasley, Claron County Commissioner.; Melanie Bailey, Venango County Voter Registrar; Stephen Buzard, Foxburg Mayor; Donna Oberlander, PA State Rep.; Scott Hutchinson, PA State Senator.
Fifty plus 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. The ARTinCC Board of Directors were introduced, and recognition 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 due to DCNR funding, and the key local officials whose support make this possible, were in attendance and were recognized. Within Clarion County, this included 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.
The formalities over, the crowd focused on reuniting with friends not seen for many months. 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 visit our website www.artincc .org, fill out a Volunteer Form, and use a credit card to Donate to the bike Trail. Also, an new Facebook Page was launched and Facebook Group so everyone can follow progress, post photos, and comment on what is happening. Go to: www.facebook.com/groups/artincc.friends, and www.facebook.com/AlleghenyRiverTrailin ClarionCountywww.facebook.com/AlleghenyRiverTrailin ClarionCounty.