News release shared by the Council on Greenways and Trails, May 31, 2024. Photos courtesy of the Council on Greenways and Trails. 

Crawford County-based businesses took home two of the three Annual Greenways Awards of the Year for 2024 when the awards ceremony was held at Cook Forest State Park on last Thursday afternoon. The overall ceremony was sponsored by Titusville Community Development Agencies.

Titusville Iron Works was presented with the “Richard M. Garrard Greenways Neighbor of the Year Award” in recognition of this relatively new firm’s active support of multiple bicycle races (including the third annual Roughneck Gravel Roubaix with more than 400 contestants), the Oil Creek 100 (a 100-mile foot face on the trails in Titusville and Oil Creek State Park), and other outdoor recreational competitions.  Located on South Franklin Street in downtown Titusville, this entertainment venue has become an informational and support station for other trail-related functions as well.

Accepting an original artwork utilizing pressed flowers made by artist Mary Rose Ragon, a framed certificate, and a dozen green/white Smiley Cookies on behalf of Titusville Iron Works were Mason Gustafson and Kim Dickson.  Leah Carter (Board member for Titusville Reenaissance, Inc.) presented the introduction and items for the Greenways Neighbor of the Year Award, which highlights involvement and assistance by property owners adjacent to a greenway or trail.

Ernst Conservation Seeds based in Meadville was recognized as the “Thomas J. Allen Greenways Partner of the Year Award” recipient for 2024.  Now in its 60th year of operation, Ernst Conservation Seeds continues to be owned and led by Calvin and Marcia Ernst and their family, many of whom attended the presentation ceremony.  The basis for their selection is the ongoing outstanding collaborative arrangement which this business and employees have with the non-profit French Creek Recreational Trails, Inc., which operates the Ernst Trail that recently was lengthened to become nearly 12 miles from Kerrtown to Conneaut Lake Winery, along the west bank of French Creek and then on the former towpath of the French Creek Feeder Canal.  The Partner Award for having donated support, resources, items, and expertise to partners is sponsored by Franklin Industrial and Commercial Development Authority; presenting this award was T. J. Parks with the City of Franklin. An original serving tray with pressed flowers and ferns assembled by artist Mary Rose Ragon, a framed certificate, and a dozen cookies were sent to office or to home with the Ernst family.

The “James E. Holden Greenways Volunteer of the Year Award” went to 18-year-old Jordan Anderson of Seneca, PA who graduates in June from Cranberry Area High School, who was joined by her family at the ceremony.  When Miss Anderson decided on her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she selected the public service category and  in cooperation with the Allegheny Valley Trails Association made and installed 13 new brown/yellow wooden signs at each trailhead along the Allegheny River Trail from Franklin to Emlenton.  In addition, she compiled locational information into 3-ring Trail Emergency Locator Sign manuals which she furnished without charge to area first responders.  A framed collage made by artist Vicki Kidder-Clark of Seneca, PA from costume jewelry and other recycled materials depicting an animal-filled forest scene, a framed certificate, and a dozen Smiley Cookies were presented to Miss Anderson on Thursday.  The Volunteer Award is co-sponsored by the Holden Family and friends of the Council on Greenways and Trails.

Media Contact: Marilyn Black ([email protected])