Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: April 22, 2010

Kansas Trail News for April 22, 2010 from Sunflower Recreational Trails:

Earth Day 40th Anniversary

This is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. On the first Earth Day in 1970, more than 20 million Americans took to the streets to celebrate Earth Day–the largest demonstration in the nation’s history. 200,000 rallied on the Capitol Mall in Washington and 100,000 marched in New York City. This was also the first National Environmental Teach-in which involved more than 2,000 communities. Earth Day was the start of the modern environmental movement in the U.S. Although important legislation pre-dated Earth Day (such as the 1964 Wilderness Act and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act), much critical environmental legislation passed Congress within three years such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act, and DDT was banned. The EPA was also established in late 1970. Although the National Trails Act was established two years prior, the rails-to-trails amendment to the Act was passed in 1983 giving birth to the modern rails-to-trails movement.

Burroughs Creek Trail Update

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that work has resumed on the Burroughs Creek Trail in eastern Lawrence. The wet weather has delayed the project for several months. However, the northern portion between 11th & 19th Streets could be completed with about two weeks of dry weather (good luck getting that in a eastern Kansas Spring). Landscaping and some concrete work at road crossings remains to be done. Nearly 200 Boy and Cub Scouts will help landscape the northern section on May 8. Mark Hecker with the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Dept. reports that the southern segment between 19th and 23rd (Haskell Rail-Trail) won’t be completed until July.

Prairie Spirit Trail Extension In Iola

Planning continues on extending the Prairie Spirit Rail-Trail through Iola. The Prairie Spirit Express (April, 2010) reports that at the 14th Annual Friends of the PST Celebration, David Toland, Executive Director of Allen County Thrive, gave a presentation on a “three-phase project of streetscapes and trail enhancements to the portion of the trail in Iola. The project is collaboration between the City of Iola and Allen County Thrive. The enhancements include continuing the trail to the city park.”

Walking Trails Near Lawrence/Topeka

Clark Coan has updated his “Walking Trails Near Lawrence” which was first published in 1985 and sold over 1,000 copies in booklet form. Later he began to update it for electronic distribution. Please find it here: http://cid-845713ab728c038a.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/WALKING%20TRAILS%20NEAR%20LAWRENCE%20II.docx

New Film About Pony Express Trail

Travis Boley with the Oregon-California Trails Association, Independence, Missouri reports: “As part of the 150th anniversary celebrations, there is a film company out of Hollywood that plans to be filming along the entirety of the Pony Express Trail from California to Missouri during the June re-ride…You can stay abreast of the film as it develops this summer at http://www.ponyexpressdoc.com/. The site is updated frequently.”

Travis Boley says he is exploring organizing a “trail symposium in Marysville during Columbus Day weekend this October with a screening in Marysville that weekend of the new movie I produced called In Pursuit of a Dream (www.inpursuitofadream.org), which followed 24 modern-day teenagers as they traveled the Oregon Trail during the summer of 2008. The movie has already won the Oregon Heritage Excellence Award and the Spur Award (won in the past by movies like Dances With Wolves, The Unforgiven, The Shootist, and Lonesome Dove). It’s played in film festivals in Hollywood and Wyoming, and will soon play in festivals in Santa Fe, Boston, and Cheyenne. We were just invited to screen the movie in Glasgow, Scotland at a film festival there, and we’ve hired a producer’s rep out of Beverly Hills (she’s repped movies like the Academy Award-winning The Aviator and The Departed and people like Meryl Streep, Mark Wahlberg, and Leonardo DiCaprio in the past) to help us sell the movie to a distributor or distributors.”

As for the symposium, it would follow a Friday night reception & screening of In Pursuit of a Dream with speakers and trail tours for the rest of the weekend.

Santa Fe-Oregon-Cali Recreational Trail

Travis Boley also reports that his organization is working to build a 40-mile long recreational trail in the historic corridor of the Santa Fe-Oregon-California Trails from Independence, Missouri to Gardner, Kansas. Sections of the trail are already built and the rest is planned. OCTA has assisted with developing Lone Elm Park as one of several planned information spots along the corridor.

Prairie Spirit Bike Ride June 12

The “Catch the Spirit Bike Ride” will be held on the Prairie Spirit Trail on June 12. There will be 10, 20 and 50 mile rides. The event is sponsored by the Franklin County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Friends of the Prairie Trail. The rides start in Kanza Park in Ottawa and the pre-registration deadline is June 1. For a registration form, go to: www.orcottawaks.org/pdf/CatchtheSpirit.pdf

Augusta And Andover To Build Rail-Trails

In a decision by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) dated Nov. 2, 2009, the STB transferred railbanking custodianship to the City of Augusta for a 1.6-mile stretch of rail corridor near Augusta. In a decision by the Surface Transportation Board dated April 2, 2010, the STB transferred railbanking custodianship to the City of Andover a for a three-mile stretch of rail corridor near Andover. Plans for development have not been firmed up yet. This will leave a six-mile gap between the Augusta and Andover sections. The section is still under railbanking custodianship of Butler County Economic Development.

Kansas Sampler In Leavenworth

Don’t forget to attend the Kansas Sampler in Leavenworth on May 1-2 and stop by the Sunflower Recreational Trails booth. Also drop in on SRT’s Annual Meeting on Sunday May 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Santa Fe Depot Diner @ Broadway and Shawnee (west of downtown). For more information on the sampler go to: http://www.kansassampler.org/festival/

Kansas Trail NewsKansas Trail News is published monthly by Clark H. Coan, Public Information Specialist for Sunflower Recreational Trails, P.O. Box 44-2043, Lawrence, KS 66044, 785-842-3458. Reprinted with permission. If you have any trail news you’d like to share, please contact us.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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