Dear River Friend,
We are overcoming the COVID-19 virus and learning how to best deal with the “new normal” means of conducting business while still protecting and promoting our waterways and natural resources.
The virus has caused a major reduction in our municipal funding. We are reducing our expenditures and making other adjustments to deal with this financial downturn.
Your support is more important to us than ever. We are depending on our members to continue their financial help, and we are encouraging new members to give a gift today. We want you to become part of our team and our mission to make it easier, safer, and more fun to enjoy our waterways and trails for recreation and education.
On the plus side, the virus quarantine has caused a big increase in the number of people enjoying our rivers and trails for exercise, an escape from cabin fever and to gain a new appreciation for the outdoors and the many waterways and trails in our region. Many of those people are discovering nature’s waterparks in our back yards and the many trails and fishing sites available to all of us. We expect those folks to continue to paddle rivers, hike trails and enjoy quiet visits with Mother Nature.
That makes our mission even more important, as more people will be depending on River Friends to keep our trails and waterways clean, accessible, safe, and easy to use.
We are developing social distancing plans to let us continue to lead eco-recreation events and public educational programs. It will mean more digital involvement, increased virtual programs and expanded use of our Facebook and website.
It is difficult to plan when no one knows how life will evolve in the future.
That’s why your support today is so important as we continue to grow and pursue important river and trail projects and nature education programs, and keep nature’s recreation available for the increasing number of people enjoying these resources in these difficult times.
To this end, we are developing a River Safety and Security program in partnership with the Chemung County Sheriff’s Department, Elmira Fire Department, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. This team will regularly visit river boat launches and fishing sites to inspect boats, educate river users about paddling safety and rules, and give away life vests, whistles, and other necessary paddling equipment.
We will also install signs on the Walnut Street Bridge in Elmira to warn paddlers of the hazardous Chase-Hibbard Dam downstream from the bridge. We are working to improve existing boat launches and fishing access sites, install a restroom on the Lackawanna Rail Trail in Elmira, erect four osprey nesting poles on four Chemung County reservoirs, lead guided paddle trips and hikes and keep our rivers and trails clear of brush, litter and illegal dumping.
We are committed to these projects, but we can’t achieve them without financial resources. That’s why we need your gift today — a gift that gives back to you, your family and your community.
At times like these, we all realize the value of relationships, good health, and a safe and healthy environment. Our relationship with you is vital in providing you with clean water, outdoor recreation and a better understanding and respect for nature.
If you are not a member, please join us today. If you have given a gift in the past, please increase your donation to show your belief in and support of River Friends. Your gift stays in the community and is an investment in our future. You know of the great projects and programs that your gifts have made possible since our inception in 2009. With your continued support we will continue to make the most of our waterways and trails.
Please invest today in the future of our environment, community, and quality of life. Donations can be made online using the link below or with a check sent to Chemung River Friends, 111 N. Main Street, Elmira, NY 14901.