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2016 Brooks Patterson Community Leadership Award to Jeff Goodyear

Jeff Goodyear

The Cattaraugus County Planning Board, at its July 27th, 2016 Annual Dinner Meeting, presented the 2016 Brooks Patterson Community Leadership Award to Jeff Goodyear of the Town of Hinsdale for his efforts to extend the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park into Cattaraugus County. The meeting was held at the Hinsdale American Legion, Hinsdale, NY.

The recipients of this annual award are chosen to give Countywide recognition to leaders and volunteers who make lasting contributions to the people and communities of Cattaraugus County and its region and who exemplify the outstanding spirit and example that Torrance Brooks and Donald Patterson set during their lifetime of dedicated service to their respective communities, County Legislature, County Planning Board, and regional agencies.

Jeff Goodyear, owner of Maple Ridge Bison Ranch in the Town of Hinsdale, has championed efforts to extend the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park from its current terminus in the Village of Cuba on to Hinsdale, and eventually Olean, NY. Jeff became involved as this local work was started by his late friend Ed Bennett and friends Steve Clute and Mike Barton.

The Genesee Valley Greenway State Park is a 90-mile open space corridor that follows the route of the Genesee Valley Canal (1840-1878) and the Pennsylvania Railroad Rochester Branch (1882-1963) from the Erie Canalway Trail in Rochester's Genesee Valley Park to the Village of Cuba. It includes a public, multi-use trail and natural and historic resources. The majority of the trail is an old railway bed that is a straight, level surface consisting of cinders, gravel and mowed grass. The Greenway passes through woodlands, wetlands, river and stream valleys, rolling farmlands, steep gorges, and historic villages in sixteen towns located in Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming, and Allegany Counties. The GVGSP connects to the Genesee River Trail, Finger Lakes Trail, Erie Canal Recreation Way, the Erie Attica Trail and the Lehigh Valley Trail.

Jeff has led a group of citizens in Hinsdale in identifying and refurbishing locks and a dam from the Genesee Valley Canal. He has also worked tirelessly to gain permission from the New York State Department of Transportation to use the Interstate 86 right-of-way for the trail route. In addition, in October of 2015, Jeff organized a tour of the Genesee Valley Canal route for the Canal Society of New York State. The tour consisted of eight stops, starting in Belfast and ending in the City of Olean.

Jeff also serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway, whose mission is to assist in the development, protection, promotion, and maintenance of New York's Genesee Valley Greenway State Park in accordance with guidelines established in the OPRHP Genesee Valley Greenway Management Plan and to support and promote other non-motorized recreational opportunities for the general public along the Genesee Valley Greenway.

The extension of the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park into Cattaraugus County would be a significant contribution to Cattaraugus County's tourism efforts and we applaud Jeff for his involvement.