About

Executive Committee of the Board of Directors:

  • Pauline Burnes is a Registered Landscape Architect and founding member of IMPACT: Friends Improving Allegany County Trails, Inc. For the past year she has been serving as Vice President and Secretary of the organization. Burnes is a Volunteer Initiator on IMPACT’s Volunteer Steward Agreement with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. She has been instrumental in organizing trail maintenance activities. Pauline is a successful grant writer and acquired funds for the Trail 4 Improvement Project on the West Almond Trail system; the Step Up Grant recently awarded by Parks and Trails New York and the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program. The NPS grant provides staff assistance to develop a Master Plan on the West Almond Trail System.

  • Glenn Gebhard is a founding member of IMPACT: Friends Improving Allegany County Trails, Inc.  For the past year, he has been serving as President of the organization.  Gebhard is a Volunteer Initiator on IMPACT’s Volunteer Steward Agreement with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. He has been instrumental in organizing trail maintenance activities, especially with organizing and training winter cross-country ski trail grooming volunteers.  Glenn was successful in securing a grant from the Bethesda Foundation of Hornell for the purchase of new ski trail grooming equipment that will be put to use in the winter of 2022-2023

  • Gretchen Hanchett is a founding member of IMPACT. For the past year she has been serving as Treasurer of the organization. Gretchen serves as an Allegany County Legislator, as well as working as a Life Coach. She previously served as Executive Director of the Allegany County Tourism Bureau.

Other Board of Directors

  • Corey Fecteau
  • Kevin Curtin
  • Gail Bartas
  • Ron Abraham
  • Alicia James
  • Pam Schu
  • Mary Potter
  • Jeff Stager
  • Colleen Wahl

Mission

The mission of IMPACT is to conserve, improve and advocate for year-round access to a diverse network of public trails and greenways. Our intention is to advocate for all trails in Allegany County.

Purpose

Our purpose in to provide a voice for all Allegany County trails users, to coordinate the development and maintenance of high-quality, year-round, multi-use trails, and to educate the public about our trails and their location in New York State.

History

IMPACT: Friends Improving Allegany County Trails, Inc. (IMPACT) was organized in the spring and summer of 2021.  We incorporated as a non-profit corporation in July 2021.  We are registered with the New York State Charities Bureau and have received 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS.

Located in central Allegany County, the West Almond Trail System is a series of loops and spurs, covering about 29 miles open to horses. These trails are multipurpose and also allow hikers and cross-country skiers to use the trail system. The trail system is closed to horses between October 1 and May 31 annually.

The location of the trail system is ideal: average annual snowfall for this area exceeds most other areas of NYS due to its relatively high altitude and proximity to lake-effect snow events downwind from Lake Erie.   “Snow at higher elevations” means Phillips Creek trails are the place to be for outdoor winter activities!

Through a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, IMPACT is authorized to responsibly develop and groom the cross-country ski trails in Phillips Creek, Turnpike and Palmer’s Pond State Forests. We organize trail maintenance days on the third Saturday of April and September.

In winter 2021-2022 we groomed with a Ski-doo Skandic work sled and a compaction drag.   Phillips Creek State Forest trails 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are slated to be groomed this season, a total of 10 miles of trail.  Thanks to a grant from the Bethesda Foundation of Hornell, we have a new 6 1/2 foot roller and compactor will build a firm base as soon as snowfall permits. That grant also supplied funds for a 46″ compaction drag with a track setter attachment. Check our Facebook and Instagram pages for up-to-date information of trail conditions.