Montour Falls Mayor James Ryan presided over an Arbor Day Tree Planting and ribbon cutting in honor of the completion of the Catharine Valley Trail Bridge, a 7.6-mile circular loop that connects the villages of Montour Falls and Watkins Glen. He was joined in the ceremony by leaders from the State, County, Village, New York State Canal Corporation, New York State Office of Parks and Recreation, and representatives from BC Cate and Hanlon Elementary School. During the ceremony, the bridge was officially named King’s Crossing, recognizing the leadership, persistence, and tenacity of former Mayor John King.


After students led the crowd of nearly 50 in the Pledge of Allegiance, Marissa Nolan, Environmental Educator from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Schuyler, offered remarks about the importance of Arbor Day and the commitment to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, making space for a greener economy, and addressing environmental degradation proactively.


Senator Tom O’Mara noted that great work on trail systems is occurring across the state. Celebrations like today’s, he said, pay tribute to our commitment to improve the safety, accessibility and attractiveness of trails.


Assemblyman Phil Palmesano attributed the opening of the footbridge to a successful public/private collaboration between many organizations in supporting and enhancing our natural resources and quality of life.


Comments were also offered by the New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton and Fred Bonn, Finger Lakes Regional Director, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, who provided $30,000 and $119,000 in grant money, respectively.


Special thanks to Judy McKinney Cherry, her SCOPED team, and the the WGACC team for aiding in the event.