Celebration set May 1 to kick off spring hiking, cycling season
CUMBERLAND — A local trails organization’s grant request for $2,500 from The Home Depot Inc. has been rejected, leaving members looking for other fundraising options.
The funds would have purchased shovels, rakes, a chain saw and other tools and supplies for use along the 20.47-mile Maryland section of the Great Allegheny Passage. The request was one of many The Home Depot Inc. received, said Bill Atkinson, marketing chairman for Mountain Maryland Trails, and a reason as to why the application was rejected wasn’t given.
Atkinson said the group, which met Monday at the Queen City Creamery in downtown Cumberland, will consider reapplying for the same grant as well as others available, including a corporate grant program available through the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education.
MMT Treasurer Larry Brock suggested the group should focus on childhood obesity and exercise, which would work well with first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” anti-childhood obesity campaign announced one week ago.
In other trail-related news, the group discussed:
• A letter from the Mountain Maryland Trails board of directors will be sent March 1 to the Allegany County commissioners and Cumberland’s mayor and council requesting funding. A specific figure was not disclosed, but members said they plan to show the benefit from trail users doubling as customers for the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and downtown Cumberland businesses.
• The Hyndman Trail, which is envisioned to pass through the Locust Grove area near the Narrows east of state Route 36. It’s unknown how the Great Allegheny Passage could connect to this possible extension but obstacles to overcome include an active CSX railroad line.
Brock said at least one landowner is “anxiously looking at donating the trail” to Allegany County government, which owns and maintains the Great Allegheny Passage from Cumberland to the Pennsylvania state line northwest of Frostburg.
• A Spring Kickoff celebration will be staged May 1 to mark the opening of the hiking and cycling season along the trail and C&O Canal towpath.
• Local businesses that believe they benefit from the trail network are to be invited to the first Trail Town Marketing Summit on March 15 at Windsor Hall in downtown Cumberland. The goal of the conference is to collaborate marketing initiatives and to put the regional Trail Town Program in a position to better respond to new and existing businesses along the trail network.
For more information on any of these issues, visit www.ahtmtrail.org.
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