Skip to content

Let’s harness the spirit of Hockeyville to win $100,000!

The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is one of three finalists in a national community building contest worth $100,000. That’s a major award – enough to transform our region’s hiking and biking trails. Along with our partners, the September 11 National Memorial Trail Alliance, Lift Johnstown, Somerset County, and the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy, we’re working to develop sections of the September 11 Trail in Somerset and Cambria counties to commemorate the sacrifices on 9/11 and build our regional economy through trails for outdoor activity.


The contest is offered by energy company NRG, which operates several Pennsylvania facilities, including the Seward Generating Station. We’ve already made it to the final round, which means we have a great shot at winning. THE WINNER IS CHOSEN SIMPLY BY POPULAR VOTE. There’s no registration to vote, and you can vote as many times as you’d like, through December 9th. Just go to our website,, and click on the contest banner.

We and our partners will also host events throughout the region to rally public support and engagement. This Thursday, we’re having a Green Drinks party with LIFT Johnstown. That will be a fun, informal get-together for people concerned about the environment and sustainability. We’ll have computers on-hand to encourage on-the-spot voting.  That’s from 5-7pm at The Crow’s Nest in Johnstown.

Remember: vote as often as you’d like, from now through December 9th. The winner will be announced December 16th.

If we win, innumerable people will benefit from the 9/11 Trail development as it boosts the economy by attracting tourists, honors those who sacrificed so much in the attacks on our nation, and promotes community health by encouraging active lifestyles. So, GO VOTE!!!

About the Trail:

The September 11th Trail is a tribute to everyone who perished in the September 11 attacks, and to that day’s heroic first responders. The 1,300-mile trail connects the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Ground Zero in N.Y.C., and the Flight 93 memorial site in Shanksville. Cyclists, walkers, and drivers can experience breathtaking landscapes, new towns, and the patriotism that grows from visiting sites that demonstrate our nation’s strength by using the trail.

If we win this award, the September 11 National MemorialTrail Alliance will use it for three things:

  • Develop a section of off-road rail-trail from Garrett to near Berlin, where an on-road route will continue to the Flight 93 National Memorial.
  • Design a much improved route for the Path of the Flood Trail just north of Johnstown.
  • Support planning of bicycle-pedestrian routes through the city of Johnstown.

The September 11th Trail uses the East Coast Greenway from New York to Washington, and the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage from Washington to Garrett.  An on-road route from Garrett to Flight 93 Memorial was dedicated on Sept. 11 this year, but plans are in place to build part of that route as an on-road rail-trail on land that CSX Corp. recently donated between Garrett and Berlin. The largest portion of the NRG donation would be used for this project, for which Somerset County has received a $400,000 National Park Service grant and a $130,000 state grant. However, the grant funding is less than the projected construction costs.

Various partners, led by the Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority and Somerset County, are planning the best route options from Flight 93 Memorial to Johnstown. A small part of the NRG award would support this planning.

Also: the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy is developing a better route for the Path of the Flood Trail, which passes through America’s oldest railroad tunnel into Franklin Borough and uses a share-the-road bicycle route into downtown Johnstown. CVC is developing an off-road trail from East Conemaugh Borough, just across the river from Franklin, into Upper Woodvale along an abandoned trolley line and will use a quiet street to connect to a pedestrian underpass of the Norfolk-Southern main line less than a half-mile from the downtown. Some of the NRG funds would be used to develop this trail.

The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, one of many partners working to develop the trail, is a nonprofit public foundation that builds professionally managed assets from local donors to support Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and Somerset counties. The CFA will administer the award on behalf of the project partners.

About NGR Gives:

NRG is the leading integrated power company in the U.S., built on the strength of the nation’s largest and most diverse competitive electric generation portfolio and leading retail electricity platform. A Fortune 200 company, NRG creates value through best in class operations, reliable and efficient electric generation, and a retail platform serving residential and commercial businesses. NRG Energy Services operates several Pennsylvania facilities, including the Seward Generating Station, in which an NRG Energy Services employee nominated the 9/11 Trail project.

NRG employees nominated a wide selection of Pennsylvania nonprofits, which were narrowed to three finalists. The other finalists, both from Philadelphia, are Gift of Life Family House and MANNA. Gift of Life serves as a “home away from home” for transplant patients and their families by providing temporary, affordable lodging and supportive services to those who travel to Philadelphia for transplant-related care. MANNA cooks and delivers nutritious, medically appropriate meals and provides nutrition counseling to neighbors who are battling life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, renal disease, and HIV/AIDS.


Local Contest Partners:
Community Foundation for the Alleghenies
Somerset County
September 11 National Memorial Trail Alliance
Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority
Conemaugh Valley Conservancy
Stonycreek-Conemaugh River Improvement Project
Lift Johnstown
Vision 2025






Back To Top