Be there
What: Friends of the Outlet Membership meeting
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 19
Where: Moose Lodge, East Elm St., Penn Yan

The Friends of the Outlet are making progress toward improvements in a number of areas after adopting a new strategic plan, and establishing a working agreement with Cornell University’s Design Connect.

Design Connect is a multi-disciplinary, student-run community design organization that provides design and planning services for local municipalities and non-profit organizations.

Most of the 14 students who are involved in Design Connect met with representatives of the Friends Sept. 17 to familiarize them with the trail and the area’s history.

The Friends, the all volunteer not-for-profit organization that owns most of the Keuka Outlet Trail and some surrounding property, adopted the strategic plan in September.

The strategic plan includes the board’s mission and vision, and lists priorities the board wants to accomplish. Some of the goals are already being worked on by committees.

• Remove five major safety concerns along the Outlet. Work on repairs to flood damaged areas is expected to begin sometime this week, a project of the Yates County Soil & Water Conservation District.  Some areas of the trail will be closed temporarily while this work is underway.  The board expects that some of the recommendations from the Design Connect plan will include improvements that can be made in the area of Cascade Mills and the former J.T. Baker Chemical plant.

• Make and implement recommendations for the Friends’ website and electronic presence. A request for proposals is being distributed to initiate updates to the Friend’s website.

• Make the Outlet Trail more user friendly with, for example, additional signage, parking, and benches. New welcome signs are being designed, and a signage committee is working to secure funding to install signs at five locations along the trail. The committee will also work to establish way-finding signs and assist efforts to establish additional interpretive signage at historic sites. Funds from the Penn Yan Academy Class of 2016, Penn Yan Rotary, and a grant secured by the Friends will pay for an additional 16 benches to be located along the trail.

• Promote the importance, impact, and the role of the Outlet in local economic development to local and state governments and other organizations/groups as appropriate.

Peg Thompson, president of the Friends Board of Directors, says, “We’re so busy with such great projects right now. We’re excited to share our progress with the community, and we invite the public to our next general  membership meeting to be held Oct. 19 at the Penn Yan Moose Lodge at 7 p.m.

Be there
What: Friends of the Outlet Membership meeting
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 19
Where: Moose Lodge, East Elm St., Penn Yan