Imagine just a 2 mile XC ski loop at Sprague Brook and a couple of wet snowmobile trails; that’s it. Imagine sheriff deputies ticketing your car at Hunters Creek because it was closed. Imagine having just about no place to ride in Erie County. Imagine not being allowed to help build or maintain trails anywhere in the county.
For many of us, we don’t have to imagine. That was the situation in Erie County in 2001. WNYMBA had been around for 9 years, but had met only a stone wall talking with the county. It all changed when the county started their master planning process that year. WNYMBA kicked it into high gear and got involved in every way possible.
Today look at what we have got: Hunters Creek is now open for bicycles! The adopted master plan incorporated WNYMBA’s suggestion of developing a new singletrack trail system at Sprague Brook, which WNYMBA started work on in 2004 and has been a success beyond everyone’s wildest dreams. Volunteers are now allowed in the parks, and the county recognizes WNYMBA as one of their best, if not the best volunteer organization they have.
Well it’s that time again.
Erie County kicked of their latest master planning initiative – the first since that plan 15 years ago. And once again, WNYMBA is on the case. We attended three of the focus group kick off meetings held last week and will work throughout the process to maintain the access we have and to develop new places to ride. The planning process will take most of 2017 and much will be in small meetings, but there will definitely be lots more opportunity for public input, and we will need all WNYMBites to turn out in force for these events. Keep your eyes peeled on this space (and on facebook and meetup) for more details. If you want more low down on the process and what WNYMBA is doing, please attend our meetings for all the details.
A lot of what we do at WNYMBA is about fun – group rides, campouts, etc. But just as important is the advocacy. Take nothing for granted. This is crunch time for access to trails, and WNYMBA needs your support.