The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) today announced it helped the Village of Odessa acquire two and a half miles of rail trail in Schuyler County. The FLLT provided technical guidance and a $17,500 grant, half of the funds needed to purchase the trail corridor.
The 43.8-acre rail corridor passes through hardwood forests extending from the village of Odessa to Hayes Road in the town of Montour. The northern end of the trail lies just east of Watkins Glen and Montour Falls. The village intends to manage the corridor as a multi-use trail, accommodating public access for pedestrians, cyclists, and horseback riders. Expanding trail offerings in this area will provide recreational opportunities and improve the quality of life for the residents of Odessa and the surrounding rural community.
“The Village of Odessa is excited to partner with FLLT and other private donors to secure our very own “Rail to Trail” that connects right into Odessa,” said Mayor Gerry Messmer. “Our residents will have their own beautiful trail to hike which connects several municipalities. We look forward to clearing the trail, building a couple of bridges, and making this a fully functional addition to our community for years to come.”
“We are delighted to support the village’s acquisition and we commend their leadership for seizing this rare opportunity,” said Land Trust executive director Andy Zepp. “Across the region, we see growing demand for trails like this and we are recognizing how much they can enhance a community’s quality of life.”
By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 28,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 45 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 170 properties that remain in private ownership.
The FLLT focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, keeping prime farmland in agriculture, and providing public access to trails. The organization also provides programs to educate local governments, landowners, and residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.
Information on the region’s premier destinations for outdoor recreation may be found at www.gofingerlakes.org, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at http://www.fllt.org.
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