On Wednesday evening, March 19th at Undo’s Restaurant in St. Clairsville, the newly formed Ohio Valley Trail Association will host its first fund raising dinner.  Doors open at 5:30 and dinner, a meal of penne pasta, salad, rolls, desserts and beverages is served at 6:30.  Tickets are being sold by OVTA members for $15 each.  They can also be purchased or reserved by contacting Sharon Hanse of the Barnesville Area rails to Trails Committee at 740-425-1483 or toucandesign43713@yahoo.com.  Guest speaker, Eric  Oberg from the Midwest office of the national Rails to Trails Conservancy will be on hand to give an update about regional trail development.  A silent auction and a 50/50 raffle will also be held.  Donations for the silent auction will be gratefully received.  Reservations are especially appreciated by the planners.
The Ohio Valley Trail Association was formed in the fall of 2013 by representatives of several regional trail advocacy groups to collaboratively develop a trail network across Belmont County.  Five groups are currently involved including: the Brooke Pioneer Trail, (WV), the Ohio Valley Trail Partners,(WV), the Ohio Valley Riverfront Development Committee, (OH), the Ohio Valley Runners and Walkers, (OH & WV), and the Barnesville Area Rails to Trails Committee, (OH).  The group, led by co-chairs Doug Wayt of the Ohio Valley Trail Partners, and Rich Sidwell of the Barnesville Area Rails to Trails Committee, has already submitted two grant proposals and is busy mapping out plans for extended local trail development that would eventually connect with the emerging nationwide network including the existing trail that nearly connects Wheeling to Washington D.C.
The association is not just another trail group, it is the collective partnership of area organizations, supportive individuals, and contributing enterprises working together to acquire rights of way and to develop recreation trails throughout the region.  100% of all funds raised support the all-volunteer effort toward this goal.  The association welcomes any interested parties to join. Networking our regional trails with existing and planned trails on our borders will provide greatly increased benefit for the area by adding safe, friendly, accessible exercise options for all while incorporating a significant enduring economic boost to the entire region.