October 19th Next meeting at 7 pm at GAP-WYTC, Visitor's Center, West Newton conference room (every third Monday of the month)
2020 Virtual Labor Day Poker Run Fundraiser
The Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter would like to thank everyone that participated in our successful T-shirt Fundraiser. The T-shirts will be printed and should start shipping on Sept. 4 so allow a few days after that to get yours. As we promised, just like our regular Poker Run event, we gave out prizes. The following three people won a $25 Walmart gift card; MaryAnn Slafka, Colleen Baum, and Jacqualyn Williams. We always get great support from the West Newton Bicycle Shop and this year was no exception. The winner of the $100 Gift Certificate to the West Newton Bicycle Shop was Trish Krajzel. All prizes are being mailed to the winners. We hope that everyone enjoys their new T-shirt and wears it in good health. We’ll hope to see you along the trail showing off your 2020 Poker Run T-shirt. Take a picture and send it to the Web Master(firstname.lastname@example.org to be displayed on our web page.
As always we thank you all for your participation and support.
Officers, board members, and members of the Over the Hill Gang gathered at the Visitor's Center last week for the presentation of an award. The award was presented by Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation and it was given in honor of WYTC surpassing the $5000 donation level with the Walk for Parks.
Congratulations to all!
Please find the link to the 2020 “Virtual” Green Luncheon video
Please enjoy the trail and help the WYTC raise funds for maintaining and improving the Westmoreland County section of the Great Allegheny Passage by participating in our events in 2021.
SATURDAY MAY 15, 2021 – 5K/10K/2MILE FUN WALK SPONSORED BY WEST NEWTON FOX’S PIZZA.
SATURDAY JUNE 5, 2021- TRAIL APPRECIATION DAY AT THE WEST NEWTON STATION.
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 6, 2021 – LABOR DAY POKER RUN RIDE AND WALK.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18-19, 2021 SALE ON THE TRAIL
HOPE TO SEE YOU IN 2021 AT ONE OF OUR EVENTS!
Pick up one of our membership brochures and become a WYTC member. You will then receive registration information for all events and updates. You can also access our website to join at bikewytc.org.
All membership dues are 100% for trail maintenance.
The Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter has received a grant from the Colcom Foundation, via the Regional Trail Corporation comprised of 8 Trails.
From the Colcom Foundation:
“The uncertainly we are facing has impacted the non-profit community particularly hard. In recognition of the challenges you may face and the relationship that brings us together, the Board of Directors of Colcom Foundation has awarded this grant to be utilized at your discretion for general operating purposes.”
"The RTC Board has decided that the best way to use these funds would be to allocate these funds to the Chapters and Councils who will not be able to do their fundraising events but still need to attend to the trail. We decided to divide the funds based upon the number of miles of trail that each group maintains."
We wish to express our appreciation to the RTC and to the Colcom Foundation for our share of the $20,000 grant.
According to Malcolm Sias, Director, Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation, “Your chapter will be receiving a check shortly from the RTC with your share of these funds. The Board of Directors of the Regional Trail Corporation would like to thank each Chapter for the great work that you do! Please use these funds to keep our trails well maintained and attractive. I have noticed a big increase in trail users during the Covid 19 period and it is readily apparent how important our trails are to our residents!”
Sick of being cooped up in the house? One thing you are allowed to do is get outside, get some fresh air, and exercise. Our trail provides the perfect place to walk, run, or ride your bike.
Hours of operation: M-F: 11-4; Sat and Sunday 10-3. Also, no more than 5 allowed in the Visitor's Center at a time; enter along the side to use the restrooms, enter the front of the Visitor's Center near the rail car to shop. Visitors MUST wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Thanks!
Although the trail has remained open, we have cancelled one of our major fund raising events. So we need your help more than ever. So please consider making a donation or becoming a member of the trail chapter.
If you wish to donate to the WYTC, please send a check to WYTC, 111 Collinsburg Rd, West Newton, PA 15089 or visit our website site: https://bikewytc.org/donate
All funds help to maintain the Trail so that users like you can enjoy every minute of their ride or walk. 501(c) 3 donations are tax-deductible. Thank you!
Staying healthy is of vital concern during these challenging times. We are fortunate to have wonderful walking, biking, and hiking trails in Westmoreland County that offer us exercise, helping us to maintain our physical and mental health.
The Trail is open.
The GAP-Visitor Center in West Newton is open! The restrooms are open.
Enjoy our GAP-WYTC and be sure to consider becoming a member.
Our membership is suggesting the following measures to protect you as you enjoy the GAP. This is an evolving situation, one that we hope will improve soon! Stop back to the Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter, website and Facebook page for updates.
1. Be mindful of others along the GAP-WYTC. Always maintain 6 feet between you and others.
2. Following good biking practices, be sure to use measures to inform others of your presence, such as saying “On Your Left” or “Passing.”
3. Portable toilets and water fountains are now open. But you should carry water, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
4. If you must meet with friends, please maintain a safe distance from them.
5. Take your trash with you.
6. If you are not well, don’t ride or walk with others. Stay Home. Be mindful of their needs. We don’t want to spread the virus.
Additional websites of interest:
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Caz Liszewski, a friend and one of the founding fathers of the Yough River Trail/ Great Allegheny Passage. He worked building the trail and was a member of the WYTC Original Over the Hill Gang. He also served as a Director of the WYTC for many years. As a mechanical engineer, his skills were highly valued as a dedicated member of the Original Over The Hill Gang.
Remarking about the beginning of trail building, Caz said “people took it on their own to volunteer because they felt it was their civic responsibility if the trail was to succeed.” He continued “the biggest factor for the trail’s success was its volunteers.”
Caz Liszewski mailed letters requesting people to clean the trail. Caz commented “the biggest problem was informing local people of the challenges and getting them to work.” He reminded us that using the GAP-WYTC Trail is free. This is not the case in other states.
He led the effort to renovate an abandon train car and relocate it to the Yough River trailhead in West Newton, where it still stands.
Caz will be in our thoughts as we ride our bikes or take a walk on the GAP – WYTC.
There will not be a viewing, but funeral services will be held at Seven Dolors Church in Yukon, PA at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday February 15th, with internment at St Timothy's Cemetery in Smithton.
Read full obituary here.
Read Tribune Review article by Jacob Tierney, Feb 13, 2020 . "Smithton engineer was visionary family man."
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Caz's name to Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter, 111 Collinsburg Road, West Newton, PA 15089.
Rest in Peace Caz.
Read about old abandoned railroad lines that have been converted into recreational trails from East to West. Look for No. 9- our Great Allegheny Passage, 150 miles,from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. By Cindy Barks. 2020.11.17
In 2007, the RTC began recognizing exemplary rail-trails around the country through its Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. They selected inductees on merits such as scenic value, high use, trail amenities, historical significance, excellence in management and maintenance, community connections and geographic distribution.
The #GreatAlleghenyPassage had the honor to become the very first inductee into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. Because of this recognition, people from every state and all over the world come to ride the GAP.
We are privileged to have the opportunity to use this great amenity anytime we want as it is in our back yard. The trail is almost wholly maintained by volunteers who rely on memberships, fundraisers, and donations.