Town of Warwick seeks designation as an Appalachian Trail Community

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:45

    Presentation set for Aug. 15 at Albert Wisner Public Library Warwick — The public is invited to a presentation this Monday, Aug. 15, on the Town of Warwick’s efforts to be designated an Appalachian Trail Community. Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community is designed to act as a catalyst for enhancing economic development, engaging community citizens as trail visitors and stewards, aiding local municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning and helping local community members see the trail as a resource and asset. The presentation will begin at 6 p.m. in the Albert Wisner Public Library. It will include photos of many features along the 2,180-mille length of the Appalachian Trail, give an overview of the way in which the trail is managed and discuss the Town of Warwick’s initiative to be named a trail community. One section of the Appalachian Trail, running a rugged 8.6 miles from Warwick Turnpike to NY 17A, connects New Jersey and New York on a route that traverses the glacier-cut spine of Bellvale Mountain. Warwick resident Gene Giordano, a member of the NY-NJ Trail Conference and the Orange County Citizens Foundation Pathways Committee, will lead the discussion. According Giordano’s press release announcing the presentation, from the beginning, Benton MacKaye’s vision of an Appalachian Trail proposed to develop opportunities for recreation, recuperation and employment. MacKaye was among the first of his time to propose land preservation for recreation and conservation purposes, understanding that the “secluded forests, pastoral lands and water courses” are “playgrounds of the people.” In his 1921 article, “The Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning,” MacKaye also wrote: “The project is one for a series of recreational communities throughout the Appalachian chain ... to be connected by a walking trail.” Giordano added that towns, counties, and communities along the Appalachian Trail’s corridor are considered an asset by AT hikers and “many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail. With millions of visitors coming to the Trail every year, it is no wonder that outfitters, restaurants and businesses catering to outdoor recreation call A.T. communities home.”

    On the committee
    An advisory committee is currently working on the Town of Warwick’s application to be designated as an Appalachian Trail Community.
    The committee members are:
    Michael Sweeton, Warwick town supervisor
    Barbara Moore , mayor, Village of Greenwood Lake
    Michael Newhard, mayor, Village of Warwick
    Raymond Bryant, superintendent, Warwick Valley School District
    Mia Wrobel, assistant superintendent, Greenwood Lake School District
    Michael Johndrow, executive director, Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce
    Marlene Caraballo, director, Pine Island Chamber of Commerce
    Ann Leirow, assistant superintendent for Business, Greenwood Lake School District
    Edward Sattler and Jason Touw, Warwick Valley High School environmental science faculty
    Erik Johansen, chef/owner of Iron Forge Inn
    Fred DeBergh, Ramsey Outdoor Stores
    Gail Neffinger, NYNJ Trail Conference
    Gene Giordano, committee chair and director of KidStrings, a music school for children in Warwick