Proposed bike trail creates opportunities

Still in the works this month is a proposed recreational path in the Girard and Lake City area that would create pedestrian routes to local farmers’ markets and connect existing trails.

The organization behind the idea is Erie Together, a group that focuses on bringing more choices to areas that lack the resources to promote exercise and outdoor activity.

“We want to take advantage of the existing trails in the 205 acres of forest and pasture lands next to Ridge Road,” Mercyhurst College Sustainability Officer Brittany Prischak said. “We’re also hoping it will include Lake Erie Community Park and Bluff State Park, two parks in the area with great potential.”

She said Girard residents will be actively involved in the entire process.

“Getting everyone from students to older residents involved will be a big aspect of the project, as well as promoting its awareness,” Prischak said.

Mercyhurst students have already been getting involved in the process as well.

History Department Chair Chris Magoc, Ph.D, had his public history class create historical pamphlets and storyboards to launch the brainstorming of the historical aspect of the project, focusing on ideas like Dan Rice and Civil War Era as well the area’s history of commerce.

A variety of wayside markers would likely outline different historical facts at landmarks throughout.

“While it could cost a bit of money, the positive opportunities it would offer in a motor vehicle dependent society are too great to pass up,” senior Patrick Bresnahan said.

The trail would bring residents a completely new outlet for physical activity and develop a better consumer relation with local farmer’s markets.

“That’s a great idea,” said senior Victoria Gricks. “Promoting exercise and healthy living is necessary in today’s world, and if it helps local farmers then it’s even better.”

The proposed trail would not only promote healthy living early on in life, but local businesses could also take advantage of the opportunity for tourism.