A grant from the foundation set up after the death of longtime Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson will benefit trails in Western New York.
Governor Andrew Cuomo this week announced $6.4 million in grants from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, along with $4 million in state funding. The money will support ongoing improvements to the Genesee Valley Greenway and the Niagara Shoreline Trail.
Joan Schumaker is president of the group, Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway. She says the money will help resurface a recreational trail between Rochester and Avon.
“Essentially most of our trail is all cinders in the railroad and a lot of grass and therefore it’s not conducive to a lot of trail users and it’s very bumpy sometimes, so essentially having a new surface is going to bring the quality of the trail up significantly,” Schumaker said.
Schumaker also said it’s hoped that improvements to these trails will also give an economic boost to the communities along the trails.
“Help the communities by increasing tourism and maybe working with them also to upgrade the things that trail users need, so that they’ll be welcoming to the trail users and obviously attracting more of them to their businesses and to their communities,” Schumaker said.
Other improvements that will be done with the funding include disability access improvements at Greenway Bridge at Mt. Morris near Letchworth State Park and improved signage on the trail.