Greenway groundbreaking set for Thursday

·2 min read

Jun. 13—A long-awaited trail project is set to begin this week in Oneonta.

On Thursday, June 16, "20 years of work by the Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway ... will be realized when ground is broken for updates to the Neahwa Park Mill Race segment of this popular trail," a media release from the Future for Oneonta Foundation said.

The foundation provided a $50,000 grant to support the project. The improvement has been in the city of Oneonta's Comprehensive Plan since 2000.

"From the OSG's standpoint, this section was a critical link between Neahwa Park, Catella Park, and the trails available on New Island," OSG's Donna Vogler said. "It is gratifying to see this section paved and accessible to all." The Mill Race trail will be made compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The trail will give residents access to a part of Oneonta's history. According to the release, in 1806, sawmill owners James and John McDonald diverted the Susquehanna River into a narrow canal to power their tools. Their success gave Oneonta its original name, McDonald's Mills.

"I am so very pleased that the Future for Oneonta Foundation could play a role in getting this project to the next level," said Alan Cleinman, Future for Oneonta Foundation chairman. "The FOF grant helped the Susquehanna Greenway Committee complete this next phase, which opens the door for greater use of the trail system by citizens of all ages and abilities. FOF looks forward to further supporting the project to realize its full potential over the coming years."

The release said, "more people will be able to engage with the Susquehanna River, one of our local natural resources that is underutilized and unexplored. Plus, the newly paved trail will delight Oneonta's high number of cyclists, help attract new residents, and invite additional infrastructure investment."

"This kind of transformative support is what drives FOF. We will continue to be a catalyst for change in the Oneonta community," Cleinman said.