The Fire Tower is Returning!

We have some fantastic news to share: Funding has been secured to begin the design and engineering work needed to bring back the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower!

Many of you know the original name of this race was the Fire Tower 10k, but we changed the name to Raven Rocks Run after it was brought to our attention that approval might not be given for a race with that ambitious name 5 years ago. 

Photo taken in 1970 of the Aeromotor Company Model #LS-40 Fire Tower in the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

The Raven Rocks Run was conceived and founded to help bring attention and resources to the effort to bring the Fire Tower back to Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. Nine years after the fire tower effort began, and five years after the race was founded, these efforts have paid off.

The credit is mostly due to the persistence and passion of Tom Cohn, former president of the Friends of Trailside Museum, who was our official race starter 2 years ago. Tom has not wasted an opportunity to bend any willing ear to share with  them his dream project. 

Peter Harckham announces the state and county funding for the fire tower restoration project State Senator Peter Harckham on October 29, 2019 at the WPA Gallery at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Cross River, NY. He is addressing the crowd about the Cross River Mountain Fire Tower project and the funding he and others have secured at the state and county level. Behind him, left to right, is Westchester County Film and Tourism Director Natasha Caputo, Fire Tower evangelist Tom Cohn, County Executive George Latimer, and County Legislator Kitley Covill. Seated in the front row are Supervisors Kevin Hansen, Peter Parsons, and Chris Burdick from the towns of Pound Ridge, Lewisboro, and Bedford.

New York State Senator Peter Harckham was at the Rez on Tuesday, October 29th to announce NY State funding of $100,000 for engineering and design work to bring back the Tower. Westchester County Executive George Latimer was also there along with District 2 Legislator Kitley Covill — they announced a matching $100,000 from Westchester County to keep the project moving. Town Supervisors from Bedford, Pound Ridge, and Lewisboro were also in attendance and in support.

Check the News12 video story on the announcement here: http://westchester.news12.com/story/41244751/state-grants-dollar100k-to-build-new-fire-tower-at-ward-pound-ridge-reservation

The design and engineering phase will start early next year after 2020 budgets have been passed. Design and engineering will take about 12 months before anything can get started with holes in the ground — but the project finally has the blessing, funding, and public support from the state and county to move forward and get it done. 

Replica of the Fire Tower commissioned by Tom Cohn five years ago to help generate interest and enthusiasm in the project.

We are excited to have the Raven Rocks Run go by the restored fire tower in a couple of years. I hope you are too!

In the meantime, get ready to run the trails next weekend – Race Date November 10th! And good luck to any of our runners who will be running the NYC Marathon this coming weekend!

….Rob, Ciorsdan, and the rest of the Raven Rocks Run Volunteers

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