Ceremony Honors Annual Greenways Awards Recipients

| June 2, 2023

CRAWFORD CO., Pa. — Crawford County-based organizations received two of the three Annual Greenways Awards of the Year for 2023 during the awards ceremony at the Franklin Trailhead on Wednesday afternoon.

(Pictured above: Accepting the Greenways Partner Award on behalf of Northwest Pa. Mobility Alliance are, from left, Tim Geibel, Kristin Hauser, Kay Koyack, and Andy Walker.)

This event also celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Council on Greenways and Trails, formed in 2008.

Northwest Pa. Mobility Alliance, Inc. is a non-profit corporation sharing offices with Crawford Area Transportation Authority in Meadville. NPMA received the “Thomas J. Allen Greenways Partner of the Year Award” in recognition of introducing in 2021 the first rural publicly-operated BikeShare program in the state.

Now in its third summer season, this bicycle rental service positions three-speed bicycles in multiple sites in the Meadville community including the very popular Ernst Trail Trailhead on Route 322 and a newly opened bike set at the park office trailhead at Goddard State Park encompassing Lake Wilhelm.

Using a smart phone, bike renters access the unlocking and payment system, and then return the equipment to a participating BikeShare station. This program is being gradually expanded to the Titusville area and several Venango County locations.

Accepting a large custom hand-made stoneware bowl, a framed certificate, and a dozen green/white Smiley cookies on behalf of NPMA were Tim Geibel (Exec. Director), Kristin Hauser (Asst. Director), and Board members Kay Koyack of Oil City, and Andy Walker with Allegheny College.

The Partner Award is sponsored by Franklin Industrial and Commercial Development Authority; presenting this award was FICDA Executive Director Debbie Eckelberger.

Similar items were accepted by Craig Farrar, President of the Hydetown Borough Council, on behalf of the Borough which received the “Richard M. Garrard Greenways Neighbor of the Year Award” for significant enhancements the Boro has championed on a new two-mile segment of the East Branch Trail now open for free year-round public use from the north end of Hydetown and through the Crawford County Forest, as a segment on the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail.

Craig Farrar, center, accepts for Hydetown Borough the Greenways Neighbor Award from nominators, Board members of Titusville Renaissance, Inc., Jess Hilburn, left, and Leah Carter, right.

Newly installed are trail gates, share-the-road signage, EPT signage, a new trailhead, and a group of volunteers who help maintain this hiking/biking trail corridor. Making this presentation were Jessica Hilburn and Leah Carter, Board members of Titusville Renaissance, Inc., who nominated the Borough for this honor.

David Galbreath, of Lucinda, received the “James E. Holden Greenways Volunteer of the Year Award” in connection with extensive uncompensated services he provides to the Clarion Chapter of the North Country Trail, including being the current President, organizer of monthly chapter hikes on the NCT, and coordinator of weekly Thursday volunteer work sessions performing trail maintenance along the 93 miles stretching from Parker to Vowinckel.

Galbreath was instrumental in developing the Clarion Loop Trail linking the university campus with the Clarion Riverbank. This Volunteer Award is co-sponsored by the Holden Family and Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce.

Additional support for this awards ceremony were sponsors Titusville Community Development Agencies, the Franklin store of Eat’N Park, artist Niccole St. Laurent of Reynoldsville, and artist Cheri Lee Anderton-Yarnell of Franklin.

Nominations are being accepted now for 2024 Greenways Awards; instructions are online at www.nwpagreenways.org.

Fellow Greenways Awards recipients Tim Geibel, left, and Craig Farrar demonstrate how
to activate a rental session in the BikeShare Program operated by Northwest Pa. Mobility Alliance.

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Category: Community, Events, Local News, News

Jacob Deemer is a reporter for EYT Media Group, who is based out of Venango County. He started his career as a sports writer for a local newspaper before contributing to TheHockeyWriters.com as a beat writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has spent over 6 years covering sports, crime, and local news in Venango, Clarion, and Jefferson Counties.
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