PKP plans platform for handicapped

The trail is done.

An informational kiosk stands at its base. Three benches provide convenient space for resting and quietly enjoying the forest.

The handicapped-accessible viewing platform is next.

The plans for the 1.3-mile Rimrock Trail that connects Rimrock Overlook and Kinzua Beach includes several other improvements.

Those other improvements are in the works under the leadership of Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways

PKP has partnered with various organizations at different points in the development of the trail.

The U.S. Forest Service on the Allegheny National Forest approved the idea. Students at Warren County Career Center did much of the leg-work in marking the trail, checking on the presence of various plants and animals, and locking in GPS coordinates. Students also constructed the kiosk and benches.

The latest partnership announced by PKP is with Bollinger Enterprises.

“PKP likes to build partnerships for every pathway that we propose and build,” PKP’s Joe Colosimo said. “Bollinger is a great organization that does a lot for this community… just seemed like a logical partner to promote increased use of that area.”

In October, BEi contributed $500 from its Employees Aluminum Recycling Fund to PKP at its 40th anniversary lunheon. Employees also committed to help with litter cleanup at the trail, according to Executive Director Bob Klebacha, BEi encourages employees and program participants to be involved in community service projects and we thought the PKP project was a match for us and they they needed and deserved support for their efforts.

“One of the cornerstones of PKP’s value proposition is connectivity and being able to enjoy all aspects of the area in and around the reservoir,” Colosimo said.

The project in question is a 24-by-16 handicapped-accessible viewing platform.

The deck faces down the hillside overlooking Kinzua Bay.

Enjoyment of the reservoir “should not be limited to only those without disability,” Colosimo said. “The platform is a way to open up access to everyone.”

The career center students are still involved with the project – they are designing the observation deck.

The viewing platform will be about 1,000 feet from the kiosk and will overlook the reservoir.

“It will eventually have interpretive panels that contain historical, biological and other information about the area,” Colosimo said.

“We received a $12,000 grant from the DeFrees Foundation and will be using those proceeds to complete the kiosk and do as much of the sign work as we can,” PKP’s Ines Nelson said.

Additional benches are also in the works. “We are also looking to place two more benches on Rim Rock Trail and at least one at the kiosk area and on the platform,” Colosimo said.

The group is always looking for more partners – individuals and organizations. “We are also looking for volunteers – professional and amateur – that may be willing to help build this once the weather breaks,” Nelson said.

PKP is also working on installing interpretational signage at the trail.