AUSABLE FORKS — Community leaders in the towns of Jay and Black Brook are working to create a trail in memory of a 7-year-old boy in Grove Pattno/Gale Memorial Park.
The town will hold a public information forum at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Town of Jay Community Center in AuSable Forks to present the plans for Henry’s Trail, and those interested in volunteering their time to help build it will have a chance that night to sign up.
Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas said they’ve raised about $30,000 so far toward a goal of $55,000.
“Over the years, I have watched the Pattno/Gale Memorial Park continue to grow with the help of many generous individuals, groups and organizations,” he said in a news release.
CAITO FOUNDATION GIFT
In addition, earlier this year, the Town of Jay received a $10,000 New York State Creating Healthy Places grant to help offset the cost of the new play area in the Grove Park.
Soon afterward, resident Greg Caito, on behalf of his wife, Lisa, and their family, visited Douglas to discuss a donation that would help fund new recreational activities there.
The donation is in the memory of the Caitos’ son, Henry, who died in a 2011 car accident that also took the life of Henry’s grandmother, Theresa Rose Marcoccia Caito, who was 75.
The Henry Caito Foundation was established after the accident and has given $10,000 toward the new Grove Wilderness Play Area.
The Jay Town Council unanimously voted for the Play Area to be named “Henry’s Trail” in honor of the child.
Henry’s Trail will consist of several pods, with each one representing an Adirondack species theme: the honey bee; the bear, which was Henry’s favorite creature; the snowshoe hare/cottontail rabbit; the bald eagle/red-tailed hawk; the fisher; and the deer mouse.
Other donations have come from Adirondack Community Trust in Lake Placid, Marty and Mary Connell’s Iron Man Aid Station, Ragnar Relay, Stewart’s Shops, Honey Bee Fund of Westport, the Education Fund of Ponds Reformed Church in New Jersey and Dawn M. Hunt.
The Jay/Black Brook Youth Commission Board, the Jay Town Council and Jay Department of Public Works, in conjunction with Essex County Department of Public Health, are all working on getting the trail started.
Many volunteers are needed to build Henry’s Trail: artists, carpenters, laborers, chainsaw operators and even basket weavers.
Douglas said Youth Commission members Steve and Peter Rondeau took the lead on the project, working in conjunction with Meg Parker from Essex County Public Health and Jay Public Works Director Chris Garrow and Jay Councilor Amy Shalton.
Garrow and his employees will work on the in-kind services in order to help lift the project off the ground, Douglas said.
“Steve, Pete and Meg have worked on the overall conception and design of this project, which includes a detailed list of items needed to build and/or purchase the pods,” he said.
“They also have worked up a cost estimate of the overall project and are aware of the skills and labor needed to create it.”
The new trail will provide an excellent recreational benefit to the community, Rondeau said in the release.
“This area will provide a safe environment for youth to explore, exercise and have fun.”
Donations to help create Henry’s Trail can be made out to the Town of Jay, Henry’s Trail, and mailed to P.O. Box 730, AuSable Forks, NY 12912.
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