Seneca Nation Of Indians Receives Grant To Revitalize Pennsy Trail

SALAMANCA – The Seneca Nation of Indians was awarded a $482,206 grant on Jan. 15. The grant will be funded by the New York State Department of Transportation through the Transportation Enhancement Program to preserve and modernize the abandoned railway corridor known as the Pennsy Trail. The trail is located in the city of Salamanca within the Nation’s Allegany Territory.

The goal of the project is to establish a multimodal, 3-mile recreational trail that is safe and accessible for all ages and levels of mobility.

It will provide an important pedestrian connection through the Allegany Territory’s West End District, linking multiple community and commercial attractions.

The funding will enable the Nation’s Community Planning and Development Department and City of Salamanca Department of Public Works to extend, widen and pave the existing trail.

The grant will also fund safety updates such as installing lighting, bollards, signage, and emergency call boxes, as well as positioning benches, cultural signage and developing native plant landscapes.

The project will be headed up by the Seneca Nation in coordination with the city of Salamanca.

“The Pennsy Trail is close to the hearts of many individuals who live in and around this community,” said Barry E. Snyder Sr., Seneca Nation president. “We are so thankful to the New York State DOT for this grant. Revitalizing the Pennsy Trail with safety improvements and enhancements is extremely important to both the Seneca Nation and the City of Salamanca and will have significant positive impacts locally and regionally with increased usage and accessibility of the trail.”

“The cooperative commitment between the Seneca Nation and city to maintain the trail helped strengthen the grant application and move it to the top of the list in a competitive process,” said Carmen Vecchiarella, Salamanca mayor. “The new and improved Pennsy Trail will be a great quality of life amenity for of our community residents and visitors to enjoy.

The Pennsy Trail was once a part of the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad System that operated from the 1880s to the late 20th century. This branch of the railroad is located on the Allegany Territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians and was abandoned when the Kinzua Dam was built in the 1960s.