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  • Orchard Park Village Trail Opening | ecattrail.org

    Orchard Park Village Trail Opening Day

  • Francis Hogenkamp

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  • Lauren Weber

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  • John Landi

    < Back John Landi Business Data and Analytics Manager at Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP 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

  • Robert Ballard

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  • Tim and Lisa Scheidel

    Tim and Lisa Scheidel Tim and Lisa Scheidel have spent the past 38 years enjoying their beautiful Sharp Street home in the Town of Concord, in large part due to its proximity to what is now the ECRT trail. Their property features an expansive lawn with magnificent, mature trees. The backyard perimeter slopes about 5’ to meet the trail. Access is made easy, as the Scheidels installed and maintain a convenient stairway that they and their dog Torque use on a regular basis. “We were using the corridor even back when it was still an active railroad,” admits Lisa. “It’s a great place to see all kinds of wildlife. It’s like having a park in your own backyard.” Tim, a construction worker with Ingall’s Site Development, does extensive mowing on the trail, generally from Middle Road to Genesee, and often cleans up storm damage, such as felled branches and trees. Lisa, a school bus driver, enjoys long walks on the trail where she encounters all kinds of people–from horseback riders to joggers. Both keep an eye out for anything suspicious and report incidents promptly to the ECRT maintenance team. “We see all kinds of people using the trail. We see walkers and bikers of all ages. It’s the perfect place for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, when the weather allows, and a great place for kids to get outdoors and exercise year-round. And you can get from one place to another without using the roads,” notes Lisa.T he couple looks forward to some surface improvements in places where the ballast is prominent, as then even more cyclists and walkers could then use and enjoy the trail. They also realize how important the trail is for local business. Tim, an avid snowmobiler, noted how his sport brings significant income to the area. For the Scheidels, every season brings a different kind of beauty to their section of the trail. Tim shared several fall and winter trailscapes with me, captured on his cell phone. The trail has become such an integral part of their daily lives and has clearly brought them great joy and pleasure. Thanks for all the support and trail work, Tim and Lisa, and keep enjoying “your trail!” November 1, 2023 Written by: Deb Fenn Previous Next < Back

  • Mary Brummer

    Mary Brummer Mary Brummer got involved with ECRT not long after her retirement in 2017 from 33 fulfilling years as a small animal veterinarian in Orchard Park. She finally had time to pursue her varied and numerous interests, but she carefully considered where she wanted to commit her newfound free time. Mary was aware that there was an effort underway to get the rail trail developed as a multi use recreational trail, but she could not find any news about the endeavor, so she approached the OP Recreation department, and discovered that a Rail Trail group was meeting every month in the basement of the Municipal building. Mary attended her first Board meeting there in January 2018 and she was impressed by the energy of that initial group of 10 people actively seeking ways to make the trail a reality. Everyone there had creative ideas, as well as the vision and attitude that they were going to “make this happen”, and Mary decided that she wanted to be a part of that. One of the Board members organized an overnight trip to the Pine Creek Rail Trai l near Coudersport, PA. Mary and then-president Anne Bergantz rode the trail for two and a half hours, talking about the organization and its history, and Anne really brought Mary “into the fold”. The group of 12 spent a day riding, visiting, eating and relaxing on the trail. Many small businesses had popped up along the trail’s path, especially in the village centers, and it made a huge impression upon her. The Pine Creek Rail Trail embodies for Mary what she envisions the ECRT Cattaraugus Rail Trail being someday. Mary was asked to be the group’s secretary. She also worked on the group’s Governance Team with the intent to firm up the Board’s structure, define best practices, develop standard operating procedures for a land trust, avoid conflicts of interest, improve record-keeping, and set parameters for elections and term limits of Board members. Mary grew up in Snyder, the “middle” daughter surrounded by five brothers. She attended Mount St. Joseph Academy and studied Biology at UB. No career path “lit her up” until she browsed through a catalog of careers in the school Guidance office and “Veterinarian” really appealed to her. She visited a veterinary hospital to learn more about the field, eventually working part-time at the Amherst Animal Hospital, where she learned to love the “small business family” way of operating. She graduated as a general veterinary practitioner from Cornell University, which is where she met her husband, David. David is more recently retired, too, from his career as a specialist in veterinary internal medicine. David and Mary have two grown children, and two grandchildren. Mary loves to garden and has been in the Orchard Park Garden Club for many years. She learned the intricacies of being a flower show judge, going on to become President of the Judges Council. This was a huge commitment of time that required her to combine her creativity, science and horticultural skills as well as a fair bit of engineering to not only design floral pieces, but Floral Design workshops as well. Active in her church for the past 30 years, she chairs the Worship team, with the goal of making services more creative and engaging. Mary played the flute during her school years but set it aside until an aunt’s passing, when she was encouraged to play the flute at her aunt’s funeral service. That special experience led her to resume taking lessons, and forming a flute quartet that plays in public several times a year. “A day that I can play just feels like it has more value,” Mary says. Mary shares her husband’s goal to be always curious about the world, feeling that it is a life force that provides us opportunities to grow, create and explore until life’s end. She feels called to talk and work with community members and elected officials in order to forge the best way to get things done and move forward. She’s inspired to make it a reality to one day take her grandchildren for a bike ride on the trail in Orchard Park, and perhaps enjoy a “sculpture alley” or a “pollinator garden” along the way. April 1, 2023 Written by: Debbie Stellrecht Previous Next < Back

  • 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

  • Orchard Park Donor Recognition Day | ecattrail.org

    Orchard Park Donor Recognition Day

  • Marc Romanowski

    < Back Marc Romanowski Partner, Rupp Baase Pfalzgraf Cunningham LLC Environmental/Brownfields, Land/Use Zoning, Energy, Municipal, Administrative and Litigation Attorney Previous Next

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