"Can that be spring just up ahead?" 
Photo credit: John Lorson, Holmes County Trail

Have you been on the trails yet this year?  
Tell us when and where! Send us your photos! 
MARCH 2018 

Membership Meeting
Wednesday, April 18  
 7:00 pm  
Orrville High School. 

Speaker: Dr. Randy Cronk 
Professor of Psychology
Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. 

Dr. Cronk is the long-serving president of the Kokosing Gap Trail in Knox County, a trail that has many parallels to our current Heartland Trail project for Wayne County, but is much farther along in its development. He will talk about the ways his board and volunteers maintain the 13 miles of paved trail between Mt. Vernon and Danville, Ohio, and how it has developed over the years. Dr. Cronk is an avid cyclist as well as a trail hand. He has great enthusiasm for trail connectivity across the state.  We look forward to meeting Dr. Cronk.



Good news!  Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County has been chosen as the 2017 recipient of the Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce "Worthy Works Award".   We are honored to be selected for this award. We are also very grateful for the $1,000 grant which will go toward our current project of building 2.4 miles of asphalt trail from Forrer Road to Marshallville.  

Here is the press release from the Chamber. 


Building a Trail is Worthy Work

February 23, 2018
A major challenge facing many rural American communities, such as Orrville, is strengthening and diversifying the economy.  Limited opportunities and resources threaten economic vitality and a community's quality of life.  Making a place welcoming, beautiful, and usable for the community while also creating an attractive setting for new business investment is a key step in development and ensuring a vibrant future for communities.

Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County (RTWC) is leading a new kind of economic development in our community.  While some may see their work as simply building bike trails for recreation, the impact those trails will have on the economic health of our community in the future is much more significant.

The Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Wayne County Community Foundation are pleased to announce Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County as the recipient of the 2018 Worthy Works award.  

First presented in 2008, the Worthy Works award acknowledges and recognizes the important contributions that Not-For-Profit members of the Chamber of Commerce make to their community.  The award includes a $1,000 grant to the organization to pursue its mission. 
"We are honored to receive the Orrville Chamber's prestigious Worthy Works Award," said Don Noble II, President of the RTWC Board of Directors.  "This recognition serves as a powerful acknowledgement, not only for the first mile of The Heartland Trail but also for long term benefits for all of Wayne County."   
RTWC officially opened the Heartland Trail, the first ever rail-trail in Orrville, in October, 2014.  This first mile of trail is the initial stretch of a paved bike trail that will eventually reach from Orrville to Clinton, OH, where it will connect with the Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail.  The long term goal is to extend the trail south to Apple Creek and Fredericksburg, where it will connect to the Holmes County Trail.

The Heartland Trail is a significant part of a state wide Ohio to Erie trail, which will allow people to ride or walk from the Ohio River to Lake Erie totally on trails.

"When seen as a whole, the evidence about the far-reaching benefits of the trail is compelling," stated RTWC volunteer Jenni Reusser.  "The Heartland Trail will impact Orrville in multiple ways far into the future."

  As a long term, sustainable project, the Heartland Trail will provide opportunity for easy access to a trail for health and recreation as well as provide new opportunities for retail, restaurants and visitor attraction. 
The Worthy Works award will be formally presented at the Annual Dinner Meeting of the Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce on March 27.  Ticket for this event are available by contacting the Orrville Area Chamber, ph 330-682-8881. 
Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair

The OSU Wooster Campus will be home to the 8th Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair on Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 11:00am - 4:00pm.

This festival celebrates, educates and demonstrates that "Green is for Life!" Free to the public, the fair features exhibits, demonstrations, recycling and food vendors in a fun-filled indoor and outdoor environment in and around Fisher Auditorium.

Once again, the Renewable Energy Workshop will be held concurrently with the Green Fair. The Workshop features presentations and panel discussions by industry and academia experts. Registrants have the opportunity to engage with leaders in emerging green energy research and industry in addition to the Fair activities. More information to come.


 A Repeat Announcement

On February 7, 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Koprivec et al. vs. Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County. 
Three adjacent land owners in the Clinton, Ohio area sued Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County claiming ownership of the former railroad property. 
RTWC has maintained, and continues to maintain, that it is the owner of the property as it purchased the land directly from Norfolk Southern Corporation back in 2009.  The case has made it twice to the Wayne County Common Pleas Court and twice to the 9th District Court of Appeals, before going before the Ohio Supreme Court in May of 2017.  
The Ohio Supreme Court's decision can be divided into two pieces. 
1.  The Deed - the Court ruled in RTWC's favor that there is no reversionary clause in the original railroad deed that would grant the Plaintiffs ownership of the property once the railroad ceased operations.
2.   Adverse Possession - The Court ruled on each of the three separate adjacent land owners (Plaintiffs) and said that one adjacent land owners claim was not valid and threw out his claim essentially because he previously engaged in direct talks with Conrail to purchase the disputed property. But it sent back down to the Wayne County Common Pleas Court, the issue of adverse possession claim made by the other two adjacent land owners.
Don Noble II, President of Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County, stated "We are very pleased with the decision handed down by the Ohio Supreme Court regarding this case. It has been a long time coming, but we feel vindicated that the court sided with RTWC in our ownership of the property with respect to one of the Plaintiffs. RTWC plans to defend its ownership of the trail property against the two remaining adjacent land owners in the Wayne County Common Pleas Court."
A summary of the Court's ruling can be found at the following website:  

Seen at the Carillon Park Historical Museum in Dayton, Ohio 
Celebrated 125 Years in 2017. 

Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County Board Members
President: Don Noble II, Shreve   
Vice President: Ted Short, Wooster 
Secretary:  Katie VanZile, Marshallville
Treasurer: David L. Lehman, Orrville 



Tom Bahl, Shreve      Susan Baker, Creston    
Pat Glessner, Sterling       Phil Grimm,  Kidron       
Becky Jewell, Orrville      Jenni Reusser, Orrville

Keith Winkler, Sterling    Keith Workman, Orrville