Rail Trail directors

Board members in photo, from left, bottom: George Joiner, Terry Borden, Dale Fox; top: Paul Boboige, Ben Zappa, Steve Putt. Missing are Bev Yates, Dave Rindosh, Mark Hoffer and Nick Hoffman.

Photo submitted

Twenty-five years have passed since the Tri-County Rails to Trails organization was created in 1992 to turn the dream of an 18-mile nature trail between Ridgway and Brockway into reality. By 2002, at a cost of $1.3 million dollars, the beautiful Clarion-Little Toby Trail along the Clarion River and Little Toby Creek was cast in crushed limestone. This precious asset is popular with thousands of local citizens and visitors from around the globe.

As time passed, nature nearly reclaimed its territory due to maintenance issues – until significant improvements were recently financed by many generous local donations and grants. Paul Boboige, the current President of Tricounty Rails to Trails, was delighted to see the progress.

“While we still have more maintenance work to accomplish, we must also start to focus on a different problem. It’s not just the trail suffering from ‘old age’ – so is our dedicated board of directors. Many individuals have served for over 20 years and most of us are in our sixties or seventies. Our “graying” board needs rejuvenation almost as much as the trail itself,” joked Mr. Boboige.

“We have four director positions open for 2018,” explained Secretary-Treasurer George Joiner. “We convene once a month near Brockway. Meetings run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Being a board member is not hard or time consuming. But without new board members, the future of the trail could be jeopardized.”

Ben Zappa, vice president and trail maintenance manager, is looking for other types of volunteers. “Trail users don’t realize the effort required to keep our trail open and safe. There are trees to fell, grass to cut, ditches to clean and washouts to repair. We are always seeking new volunteers to sign up as on-call helpers, or to participate in our Adopt-A-Mile program.”

To contact the organization, send email to info@tricountyrailstotrails.org or visit them on Facebook or their website.

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