Community leaders, government officials and friends and family of Lawrence Township’s recently retired administrator, Rich Krawczun, and soon to retire Hopewell Township Administrator and Engineer Paul Pogorzelski joined the Lawrence Hopewell Trail Board of Trustees last night to accept this year’s LHT Trailblazer Awards.

Both public servants known for their leadership abilities as well as their commitment to their communities were lauded for their many years of support for the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, a biking and walking trail that loops through Lawrence and Hopewell Townships, anchored by four Bristol-Myers Squibb campuses, Educational Testing Service and Mercer Meadows.

At the celebration at the D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center, Krawczun and Pogorzelski accepted the thanks of the LHT board and the community and shared their own personal visions for the trail.

“The LHT benefitted from Rich Krawczun’s knowledge of the community, finance, government relations, and construction, as well as his superb problem solving skills,” said LHT Co-President Eleanor V. Horne. She noted that most of the trail segments in Lawrence were completed during his tenure.

LHT Co-President Becky Taylor noted that Pogorzelski’s many contributions included sharing his passion for flying to capture the bird’s eye view of the terrain in Hopewell Township in the days before Google Maps’ aerial views were available. “Because of Paul’s avocation, we were able to establish the LHT route using a perspective that otherwise wouldn’t have been available to us,” she said.

In fact, the caricature created by cartoonist Mike Scott – a signature of the LHT Trailblazer Awards – features Pogorzelski grinning wildly while flying in his Cessna. Krawczun is featured relaxing in a chair along the trail, thinking about his new life near the beaches of Florida, where he has relocated since his retirement.

The LHT Board of Trustees created the LHT Trailblazer Awards to recognize organizations or individuals providing extraordinary support over three or more years. The nominee’s support can take the form of leadership, professional expertise, financial contributions, or advocacy without which the trail would not exist or would not exist in a manner that is consistent with the Board’s vision.

Nineteen miles of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail’s planned 22-plus mile bicycle and pedestrian trail and transportation corridor through Lawrence and Hopewell Townships in Mercer County – or 88 percent of the trail – are now complete.