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Cornell Gorge-Safety Funds Increased
Michael Mallon
| April 3, 2012
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Cornell University is now adding another 800,000 dollars to the already-committed $1.56 million going to gorge-safety efforts.

The funds will enable the university to carry out the recommendations that the Gorge Safety Steering Committee made in December, including new safety and infrastructure projects, increased educational outreach and continued research. The committee was appointed in August after three Cornell students died during a six-week period in unrelated gorge accidents.

The university says it is committed to spending $150,000 annually on trail maintenance. Cornell has already spent $1.2 million repairing the Cascadilla Gorge trail. That $1.2 million has been spent on fixing stairs and railings, building a new staircase and fixing up a 150-year-old retaining wall, according to the university.

The money also includes $160,000 in emergency funding, with another $500,000 pending the Board of Trustees' approval, to address the highest-priority safety issues in Fall Creek Gorge. The priorities include new railings, fences, gates, and signs that highlight the boundaries of safe areas that are open to the public and restricted, unsafe areas, according to Cornell.

Funding also includes education efforts. Those include a gorge stewards program that will start in the summer. Students will be trained to share information with other students about regulations, the dangers of swimming in the gorges and other places to swim. Another educational aspect is a gorge-safety video being produced by a student group that will be shown during orientation in August, according to Cornell.


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