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January 2014 Column - Enjoying winter activities safely in Erie County Parks


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

It is hard to believe that it’s been nine years since I first had the idea for the Hot Dog Roast Fundraisers to benefit the libraries in my district. At first, they were very modest events, especially when compared to what they are today....

Erie County Legislator John J. Mills is pleased to announce that with this year’s total, his hot dog roast fundraisers have raised more than $10,000 for the Concord Library. The 2015 event, held July 16, was a complete sellout and raised $1...

Erie County Legislator John J. Mills is pleased to announce that both the Eden Library and North Collins Library did extremely well at their 2015 Hot Dog Roast Fundraisers. Eden and North Collins both set new records. Eden’s fundraiser...

Erie County Legislator John J. Mills said he recently received an update from the Department of Public Works that Eden Evans Center Road will be repaired this summer from Derby Road to Route 62 in Eden. This will complete the repaving of the...

After waiting long enough for the federal or state government to take action to ban the sale of cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads, Erie County took action to protect our water sources. At the July 30 session, the...

oneilj - Posted on 06 January 2014

While the Erie County parks are busy throughout the year, they really seem to come alive during the winter months, especially Chestnut Ridge Park. Boasting one of the best sledding hills in the area, families can enjoy hours of fun at no cost. The hill also highlights one of only a few toboggan chutes in the country.

 

However, with the rise and fall of temperatures lately, it is hard to know if heading out to the park's sledding hill is worth it. To keep residents up-to-date on the conditions of the sledding hills, toboggan runs, Emery's ski hill, cross country ski trails and ice skating rinks, the county's parks department has a webpage announcing what is currently opened and closed due to conditions.

 

The list is easy to locate. Visit www.erie.gov/parks and click on the snowflake icon for Winter Sports/Activities Availability. Many of the hills and trails have opened and closed several times since this year's first snowfall, but the page is updated regularly making planning easier for families and residents. 

 

Hopefully we'll see more snow in time for this year's Winterfest, which will be held at Chestnut Ridge Park on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s event features a Glenn Colton concert from 11a.m. to noon, as well as Western New York Mountain Bike Association mountain bike races and a snow sculpturing competition is also scheduled from 11a.m. to 2 p.m., with judging at 2pm.

 

I have had the pleasure of judging the snow sculpture contest in the past and there have been some very impressive, creative entries. Everyone is invited to enter. 

 

Many families braved the snowy weather and enjoyed a great day at Chestnut Ridge for Santaland held last month. It was great to see so many kids and adults enjoying the park, sledding hill, restored toboggan runs and casino. 

 

Events like Santaland and Winterfest are always well attended and looked forward to by families. The parks employees do a great job making sure the park is ready for these events. A special thanks to all the sponsors and the Town of Orchard Park Recreation Department for partnering with the county to make these events possible.

 

I want to wish everyone a safe winter sporting season, whether you enjoy sledding, skiing or snowmobiling, make sure you are enjoying these actives at the proper locations to reduce the risk of injury. 

 

If you have any questions about the county’s parks, please contact my office at 858-8850 or email john.mills@erie.gov