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  • Orchard Park Village Trail Opening |

    Orchard Park Village Trail Opening Day

  • Howy Holmes

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  • Laura Lisitsky

    Laura Lisitsky Apart from a 12-year hiatus in Seattle, Laura Lisitsky is a life-long Western New Yorker and a dedicated lover of the outdoors. She grew up in Elma, attended Iroquois Central School and now teaches K-4 Physical Education there. When she’s not encouraging children to participate in structured physical activity, she indulges in some of her own. Favorites include hiking, kayaking and cross-country skiing. Laura is always up for another great outdoor adventure. Her love of the outdoors has deep roots, stemming from time spent at her grandparents’ home in the Catskills. The youngest of five, her grandparents would treat each child — one at a time — to a few weeks with them on their 23-acre homestead in Saugerties. Here, Laura spent many memorable hours exploring nearby woodlands, fields and streams. “Locally, I belong to an informal hiking group, formed during the pandemic by a group of former high school friends. We call ourselves the ‘Silver Lining Hiking Group’. Lots of our outings are spur-of–the-moment and always fun." “During my time in Seattle, hiking and biking trails were everywhere. I was surrounded by them, but couldn’t afford to live near them. They’re a very popular amenity, and housing prices are higher the closer you live to a trail.” Laura recently traveled to Norway with her partner, Steve. Here, again, hiking trails were numerous and considered an integral, defining part of the Norwegian lifestyle. Through her travels, chosen lifestyle and profession, Laura truly understands the value of trails. “People need to get outdoors for their mental and physical health. In my volunteer efforts with trail clean-up and the Fondo bike event, I’ve found pleasure working with like-minded people for such a great cause. We’re working to create something that will mean so much for so many. Trails are such an asset to any community. Why not ours?” April 1, 2024 Written by: Deb Fenn Previous Next < Back

  • Lisa Rood

    < Back Lisa Rood Lisa, a former Town of Boston Supervisor and horsewoman, became involved with ECRT over 5 years ago to support the equestrian use of the rail trail. You'll most often find her at events, staffing the ECRT outreach table and sharing the progress of the trail with visitors. Previous Next

  • Jason Engel

    Jason Engel Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail has enjoyed the benefits of partnering with a variety of community and regional organizations. Biking, hiking, scouting groups, snowmobile clubs, local businesses, Chambers of Commerce, and adjacent municipalities have supported the trail in a variety of ways and have, in turn, enjoyed positive community recognition and economic benefits. Most recently, a new, exciting partnership is in the works between ECRT and the Springville Community Trout Pond . Eight years ago, Jason Engel took on a leadership role with Springville Field and Stream . His background in landscape architecture, business ownership and special projects work with the Amherst Planning Department made him an ideal candidate for the position. The heart of the project required significant dredging from a 1997 “100-year flood” that overwhelmed the popular trout pond, which sits adjacent to the trail, and created major erosion issues. The fish hatchery located at the pond’s north end was rendered inoperable. As Engel explained, “We want to reclaim this popular and ecologically significant resource. To do so, we adopted a 3-phase project. Phase one includes dredging the pond, re-establishing the shoreline, and improving the fish habitat. Phase two , at the south end of the pond, will create an important connection to the adjacent ECRT trail. The new destination trail head is to include a pavilion, parking area, bike rack and an ingress and egress ramp for wheelchair accessibility to a fishing pier. In preparation for this phase, ECRT provided funds for a culvert which sits beneath the trail and connects the pond to Spring Brook, an important outlet for occasional flooding.” Spring Brook, he went on to explain, travels north to East Concord and is one of the few streams in Erie County that is home to native brook trout – a rare find. It also was once an important water source for Springville – ergo, the town’s name. “Phase three of the project includes reconstructing the trout hatchery at the north end of the Pond, with a small classroom where children and adults can learn more about aquaculture and fish habitat – a nice education stop for bikers and hikers along the trail. “It is such an important partnership, and we know so many people, locally and regionally, will enjoy and benefit from the trail, the trout pond, and the unique recreational opportunities our collaboration will bring.” March 1, 2022 Written by: Beth Lasky Previous Next < Back

  • Orchard Park Donor Recognition Day |

    Orchard Park Donor Recognition Day

  • Tom Grogan, CFA, CFP

    < Back Tom Grogan, CFA, CFP Tom lives with his wife in Orchard Park and has three grown children. He is a CPA and is a former partner with Brock, Schechter & Polakoff, LLP, with over 40 years experience. Tom serves on several local nonprofit organization boards. He is also an avid runner and biker. Previous Next

  • Francis Hogenkamp

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  • Lauren Weber

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  • Steve Musso

    < Back Steve Musso Steve has over 32 years of banking industry experience as a Financial / Strategic Planning Consultant to the Banking Industry and previously served as Chief Operating Officer of FinPro Inc. Steve currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors at Country Bank in MA. Steve is an avid biker and trail rider and has ridden on a wide range of rail trails across 12 states. Steve believes the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail is a very valuable asset to the Western NY community and is excited by the opportunity to work with the talented and dedicated group at ECRT to complete and open the entire 27 miles of trail to public use. Previous Next

  • Antonio Miceli

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  • Karen Parysek

    Karen Parysek Karen Parysek has been an active volunteer with ECRT for over 10 years and the author of several successful grant applications as exemplified in Concord’s redecked bridges, an accessible ramp to the historic Springville Trout Pond, and our efforts to connect an elementary school bike path to our trail in Colden. Raised on a farm in Eden, NY, Karen grew up with three siblings, as well as four children from Buffalo, fostered by her parents during her childhood years. She attended Eden Central School where she excelled in math and science. Karen was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Rochester, majoring in chemical and engineering. After graduating, she joined Linde-Praxair where she used her problem-solving skills in a wide variety of positions: energy systems engineering, market development for materials, procurement, Six Sigma, marketing and sales. She finished her career in R&D, where she developed collaborations for emerging clean energy technologies with universities, startups and national labs, learning about the grant-making ecosystem in the process. It was this experience that she has been able to directly transfer to the benefit of ECRT. Karen raised two sons, now in their 30s, both of whom found success following in their mother’s engineering footsteps. Back-country canoe camping and wildflowers are among her outdoor passions. Throughout her adult life, she has been a dedicated and active volunteer, supporting a number of worthy non-profits, most significantly Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program at Holiday Valley where she volunteers as an adaptive ski instructor. “My philosophy of life has always involved making the world a better place, and working with like-minded friends on projects we enjoy.” And that, gratefully, includes Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail! September 1, 2023 Written by: Deb Fenn Previous Next < Back

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