Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Thanks To Those Who Have Been Working for the Ligonier Valley Trail!

There are many steps to building a trail and grant writing is one of them. Many people are working to make the Ligonier Valley Trail possible, and this is a good time to thank the many contributors for the diverse ways they have helped. Every idea, edit and meeting counts greatly to the end product, and we apologize if we have missed any contributor. It is clear that many people in our community hope to make the Ligonier Valley Trail a showcase for the high quality of life we enjoy in the borough and the township.

First thanks go to the Ligonier Township Recreation Board members who have kept the project moving forward. President Sharon Detar; Vice President, Bob Gangewere; Secretary, Gary Dye; Michael Marinchak III; Susan Williams; and Bill Bright, Borough Liaison. Also former members: Tom Omiatek, Rose Stepnick, and Mike Kuzemchak. The Board could not have done it without the continuous support of our Township Supervisors and Township support staff.

Many thanks to Drew Banas, Diane Cipa, Sharon Detar, Paul Fry, Bob Gangewere, Rose Stepnick, and Keith Whipkey, who took time from their day to attended the March meeting with Tracy Stack, our Regional Advisor from the DCNR, to talk about our Phase Two Feasibility Study needs and ideas for extending the trail into the countryside. Also thanks to Olga Herbert who drove the trail route with Tracy, while the concept was being described and highlighted, adding her own positive thoughts as she drove. And thanks to Tracy for being so enthusiastic about our plans, and encouraging us to widen our scope now and not later. Thanks to the Loyalhanna Watershed for the use of their facilities.

Trail advocates Sharon Detar, Paul Fry, Bob Gangewere, Drew Banas and Rose Stepnick met several times to map the routes and to analyze the consultants’ quotes.

Our Thanks Go To:

Paul Fry, Drew Banas, and Bridget Shirey, for taking the consultants on the “Trail Tours” and adding their personal flavor to the experience.

Malcolm Sias, Westmoreland County Parks Planning Coordinator, and for technical advice and support.

Without the trust of Rev. Imre Bertalan and the Bethlen Communities, there would not be a Phase One from Weller Field to People’s Road, and so therefore, no Phase Two further into the township!

Tim Komar for working on improving the rail bed and keeping it safe and presentable for all to see.

Jack Maguire, PE, for his dedication and time to our bridge project.

Michael Kuzemchak of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, for consultant advice and producing the project maps.

Huge thanks go to Bob Gangewere, Diane Cipa and Cindy Turley, Ligonier Zoning Officer for help in the edits and review of the RFQ (Request for Quotes) language to determine our grant budget, and help in writing and editing the final grant language.

We appreciate the Letters of Support from:

The Borough of Ligonier, who committed to the partnering with the Township with a Resolution.
Senator Donald White of the 41st District, as well as Gina Jones.
Christopher Bova, Westmoreland County Senior Planner.
Malcolm Sias, Westmoreland County Parks Planning Coordinator.
Rachel Roehrig, Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Jim Koontz, Compass Inn Museum and Ligonier Valley Historical Society.
Robert Stutzman, Ligonier Valley Rail Road Association.
Michael Marinchak III, Ligonier Valley YMCA.
Drew Banas, Loyalhanna Watershed Association.
Courtney Moskios, Ligonier Valley High School Senior and “Miss Ligonier”.
Carol Kessler, Carol and Dave’s Roadhouse.

Thank you to all the people who keep the project going with your interest, information, encouragement, and offers of help to build the trail. We look forward to your participation in the future.

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