The volunteers who maintain most of the Keuka Outlet Trail have a new tool — a brand new 1025R John Deere Sub-Compact utility tractor — thanks to a $16,000 gift from the Bruce Hansen Memorial Fund.

Joan Hansen Eldred and Chris Hansen visited the Outlet Trail recently to get a close-up look at the tractor which will help the hard-working maintenance volunteers maintain and improve the miles of trail property between Dresden and Penn Yan.

Norm Koek, one of the volunteers who has been donating time and the use of his own equipment over the years, worked with the Hansen family and LandPro Equipment in Hall to find the perfect tractor for the trail’s needs.

The tractor was delivered to the trail in early autumn, so it hasn’t been used much for mowing, but volunteers have found it helpful for clearing some of the brush and obstacles along the trail.

The tractor came equipped with a hydraulic bucket and the Friends of the Outlet Board of Directors have approved the purchase of a brush hog.

The 1025R has a 23.9 hp, three-cylinder diesel engine, hydrostatic transmission, power steering, and four-wheel drive.

This is the second time the Hansen Memorial Fund has supported a major equipment purchase for the Friends of the Outlet. A few years ago, the Friends purchased a zero-turn mower with a gift from the fund.

The late Bruce Hansen, who passed away in 1999, was a strong supporter of the Keuka Outlet Trail and Friends of the Outlet. He was a commissioner of the Keuka Lake Outlet Preservation Area, the organization created by the Yates County Legislature to oversee the trail before it was turned over to the Friends of the Outlet. He then served in various capacities as a member of the Friends’ Board of Directors, and through his business, City Hill Construction, donated countless hours of labor, equipment, and material to build and maintain the trail.

“This new tractor will help the Friends of the Outlet keep Bruce’s vision of a place of great natural beauty and historic significance, welcoming to all people for family oriented recreational activities, alive,” says Friends of the Outlet Vice President Phillip Rahr, adding, “We are so grateful to the Hansen family for this generous gift.”

Volunteers are always welcome to help with maintenance projects on the Keuka Outlet Trail. Things are quiet through the winter months, but the chores will begin again next spring. If you would like to volunteer, visit the Friends of the Outlet website at www.KeukaOutletTrail.org and click on the “Get Involved” tab.