Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Knight Foundation Awards $249,000 for New Trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park
1403 W. Hines Hill Road, Peninsula, Ohio 44264

Press Contact:
Emily Heninger, Communications Manager
Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park
330-657-2909 ext. 136

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 16, 2015

Knight Foundation Awards $249,000 for New Trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Peninsula, Ohio – To support the construction of new trails in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP), including the park’s first off-road biking trail, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation recently awarded the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park $249,000.

These new trails will bolster recreational opportunities for residents of northeast Ohio and attract new trail users to the park. The projects will also increase community engagement by drawing trail volunteers to CVNP. Construction for these projects is scheduled to begin this year.

 “We’re grateful to Knight Foundation for their extraordinary support of our national park’s trails,” said Deb Yandala, chief executive officer for the Conservancy. “This gift will further position Cuyahoga Valley National Park and northeast Ohio as a vibrant and active community.”

“In order to keep and attract new talent and expand opportunities in Akron, we need to provide people with spaces to connect and foster quality of life improvements that are characteristic of successful cities,” said Kyle Kutuchief, Knight Foundation program director for Akron. “This project will help accomplish just that by engaging the community in developing the trails and offering residents a new incentive to build their roots in Akron.”

Knight Foundation’s gift will fund construction, as well as initial planning and design work, for several high-priority trail projects from the park’s 2013 Trail Management Plan, including:

  • Off-road bicycle trails. To give mountain bikers and hikers more areas to explore, a new system of off-road bicycle trails will be added on the eastern edge of CVNP—the first mountain biking trails in the national park. The 2.6-mile Phase 1 portion of the trail is scheduled for construction in 2015, with the 6.2-mile Phase 2 trail to be undertaken in 2016.
  • Lower Furnace Run loop. This project will add a new trail loop to the Furnace Run Trail. This new loop will connect to the Everett Covered Bridge trailhead, a popular scenic destination in CVNP.
  • Stanford House to Hines Hill connector. This project will create a new trail connecting the Conservancy’s Hines Hill campus to the Stanford House and the Towpath Trail in the Village of Boston —ideal for wedding guests or visitors exploring the village.

Craig Kenkel, CVNP superintendent, said “It’s thanks to the work of the Conservancy that we are able to implement new trail projects that enhance recreational opportunities for our national park visitors. I’m grateful for our continued partnership and look forward to an exciting year!”
These projects are part of CVNP’s TRAILS FOREVER initiative. This program is co-managed by the Conservancy and the National Park Service to ensure the national park can maintain and operate, in perpetuity, a world-class trail system.

About the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park
The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park aspires to engage the public as advocates, volunteers, and philanthropic supporters to ensure that our national park is preserved, protected, and enhanced for future generations. For more information, visit www.conservancyforcvnp.org or call (330) 657-2909.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

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