Click here for pictures of the Trail Ribbon Cutting
A beautiful new trail in the Village of Churchville was dedicated on Saturday, October 20, 2012. This trail starts at Howard Avenue, follows the former West Shore Railroad, crosses Buffalo Road and continues into the Monroe County Park. It does not just happen on its own…but takes the vision, dedication, funding and sweat of many.
Here is the story of how this trail came about and those responsible for it.
- Former West Shore Railroad
- History of this railroad is located on one side of the kiosk. Please do take time to read it.
- Feasibility Study
- This actually started several years ago when the Village of Churchville, Town of Riga, Village and Town of Bergen did a feasibility study on a trail from Churchville to Elba along the former West Shore Tracks. In that study, the Village of Churchville was to be the trailhead of this trail. We were excited about the concept and started the West Shore Trail Committee to start talking about what the trailhead would consist of.
- At the end of the feasibility study, for different reasons, the communities did not continue forward with the trail.
- However, we were still excited about the concept. We are a walkable community and this property was owned by the Village of Churchville and was in need of ‘dressing up’ – so we continued. The West Shore Trail committee did information studies, produced a CD to promote the trail, made a mock-up of the trailhead and generally kept us all looking forward to this new addition to our community. Thank you to the committee led by Trustee John Hartman.
- And then along came our opportunity to apply for some grants to assist with the funding.
- NYS Parks and Recreation Grant
- This grant application takes the support of our State, County and Town representatives.
- From Stuart Brown Associates the grant was written by Ed Flynn using much of the information from the prior feasibility study.
- We were awarded an $82,550 grant from NYS Parks and Recreation to build the trailhead and our portion of the trail. Village Clerk Meghan Lodge worked with Karen Ferguson from the NYS Parks and Recreation Regional Office to insure that we followed the grant guidelines.
- Community Development Block Grant
- We also applied to the County of Monroe Department of Planning and Development for a Community Development Block Grant and received a $60,000 grant to fund the comfort station and to meet all ADA requirements.
TRAIL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
- Trail Design
- Now with the needed funding, we could start building the trail. The trail design was completed by engineers Ed Parrone and Carl Hewings from Parrone Engineers.
- Trail Construction
- We were ready to start moving dirt.
- The Village DPW under the supervision of Paul Robinson built the trail, kiosk, helped with sign design and installed lighting along one portion of the trail.
- County of Monroe permitted the trail to be continued across the road onto parkland.
- Shirley Mark, Landscape Gardner from Roberts Wesleyan College kindly gave of her knowledge, expertise and time to help us select the trees and shrubs for this trail. We needed plant selection that would provide screening along the residential area of the trail, the plants needed to be deer resistant and offer color during different times of the year.
- We now have flowering Japanese Lilac trees, Arrowwood Viburnum, Colorado Spruce and Rugosa roses.
- Landscaping funding
- We are so fortunate to have residents in this community who care about our community and share in the excitement of our plans…and one such resident is our very own Dr. Nancy Perkins Weyl. This beautiful landscaping was made possible by a $10,000 gift from her to the Village of Churchville. Approximately 150 trees and shrubs have been planted along this trail with this generous gift.
- Comfort Station
- Dilcher Excavating and Construction built the comfort station.
- The comfort station has been made to look similar to a train depot with a replica of the sign that hung on the train depot in the Village of Churchville. The actual sign is located in the Village Office building.
- Please note the drinking fountain for the walkers and for our four-legged walking companions.
- Benches offer places to rest and enjoy the beauty of the trail
- Signage at the other ends of the trail to direct walkers to the Village Center and to the many recreational opportunities in the Monroe County Park to the north.
- Parking for several cars on Howard Avenue.
- We look forward to working cooperatively with the County of Monroe and the Churchville-Chili Central School District to extend the trail through the County Park to Black Creek, the boat launch, through Sprucewood Nature Center and to Church Lodge and the Ice Skating Rink, over North Main Street, and continue through the cemetery along Black Creek to the dam on Buffalo Road.
- AND, we are still looking for a caboose to locate here to house history of our railroad, the village, and information on points of interest in our surrounding community.
- While we look for a caboose, we are working with Boy Scout Troop 133 and the Lions Club to support an Eagle project to construct a replica of the train depot station that used to be located in Churchville.
- Hopefully, at some time, the trail will continue to points West of Churchville and to the East, linking to the Genesee Valley Greenway via the Black Creek Trail Corridor which is under a feasibility study by the Village of Churchville and Towns of Riga and Chili.
Just a point of interest - for those familiar with Geocaching – there is a Geocache located on this trail called “Leap onto the West Shore” which has brought many visitors from miles around to enjoy our trail. I monitor the activity on my cell phone and love to read the comments left by visitors who enjoy finding this ‘hidden treasure’ in the Village of Churchville.