Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: August 25, 2010

Kansas Trail News for August 25, 2010 from Sunflower Recreational Trails:

TE Funds Awarded For Tonganoxie Trail

The City of Tonganoxie has received a federal TE grant through KDOT to build the second phase of the Tonganoxie Trail which will extend the current 10-foot wide pedestrian/bicycle trail from Chieftain Trail along Tonganoxie Drive to Laming Road and then east to the new post office. It would allow children to safely go under the highway.

The City’s required 20 percent local match is $200,000. The grant only pays for construction and the City is responsible for design, easement and any utility relocation. This project requires no easement acquisition.

Read more: KDOT selects Tonganoxie trails project for transportation enhancement grant

Trail At Pioneer Bluffs National Historic District Near Matfield Green

This 1859 ranch, one mile north of Matfield Green in the scenic central Flint Hills, is on the National Register as an historic district and contains an impressive stone house, many stone outbuildings, and an old rock fence. The large 30,000 square-foot garden is rich in fruits and vegetables feeding about 31 families, many of whom work for their food. The following excerpts are taken from their website: pioneerbluffs.org.

A sustainable and productive farm – modeled on the 1916 farm of Henry and Maud Rogler – provides healthy food for residents of Matfield Green and others within a 100-mile radius.

People live, play and work at Pioneer Bluffs. Simple, comfortable and accessible accommodations provide opportunities for long- and short-term stays. A technologically up-to-date Retreat Center and Bunkhouse draw groups of up to 25 people from Wichita, Kansas City and beyond. The Main Barn is renovated for use as an assembly space and welcome center. The Main House, restored to its 1916 condition, is available for weekly rental. A farm manager and family live upstairs in the Granary. Interns are accommodated at offsite housing in Matfield Green. A certified kitchen and small dining room provide delicious locally-raised food for visitors and staff.

A small store or gift shop features local crafts and food, including value-added products created in the Pioneer Bluffs certified kitchen.

A 1.5 mile public walking/biking trail (developed on easements provided to the Foundation by private landowners) along the west side of Highway 177 offers dramatic prairie views and facilitates access between Matfield Green and Pioneer Bluffs.

Pioneer Bluffs is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday through Monday.

Kansas Magazine Article About State’s Trails

The most recent Kansas Magazine (Fall 2010, pages 20-25) has an article entitled “Hit the Trails” by Doug Vance quoting Mike Goodwin of the Kansas Trails Council concerning recreational trails in Kansas. It features photography by Cathy Mores and mentions the Prairie Spirit Trail and the Flint Hills Nature Trail among others.

Clear Creek Trail In Shawnee Receives TE Grant

The following is an article which appeared in the KC Star:

Shawnee’s Clear Creek Trail on list for funding
The Kansas City Star

August 17, 2010

Shawnee is one step closer to providing a three-mile long bicycle and pedestrian trail for residents of western Shawnee.

The Kansas Department of Transportation has placed the last mile of the Clear Creek Trail on its list of enhanced projects, which puts it in line for federal funding.

The trail already exists for about a mile between Kansas 7 and Monticello Road north of Shawnee Mission Parkway.

The second mile from Monticello to Woodland is under construction with completion scheduled for December.

The third segment from Woodland to the Gary L. Haller Trail, which runs north-south from Olathe to the Kansas River, is the last mile of the project and now waits federal funding.

The route follows Clear Creek. Each segment costs about $1.3 million.

The last section will go under the railroad tracks just west of the Haller trail. Officials hope to begin construction sometime next year. After that, the future plans calls for it to be extended west of K-7 to Clare Road.

See also: City Receives Grant

Buffalo Bill Visitor/cultural Center Receives Grant

KDOT has approved a federal Transportation Enhancements s grant to build a Buffalo Bill Visitor/Cultural Center near Oakley. That is where William Cody had a contest with another buffalo hunter to claim the moniker “Buffalo Bill”. Cody shot 69 and Bill Comstock shot 46 in one day. Cody killed buffalo for food and not hides. He was paid to obtain buffalo meat for railroad crews and the cavalry.

Perhaps, Abilene should obtain a grant to build a visitor/cultural center for Wild Bill Hickok. He was actually a more important and famous Old West figure than Buffalo Bill.

Active Community Transportation Act Of 2010

This bill (H.R. 4722) in the US House (now co-sponsored by 66 members) will, according to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (one of the primary backers of the bill), create:

“a competitive fund, which will invest in communities that best make the case for resources to shift large numbers of trips from driving to walking and bicycling. The two billion-dollar program, with funds set aside within the Surface Transportation Program, will allow dozens of communities nationally to improve their walking and bicycling networks.”

Editor’s note: If the bill isn’t acted upon by the end of the year, it will have to be reintroduced and cosponsors will have to sign on again.

Topeka Trails Network Progresses

Bill Riphahn of Topeka Parks & Recreation reports that bids are ready to be let out in a matter of days for building the Landon Nature Trail (from 25th south to 47th St.). Once a notice goes out, the City must wait for 30 days before awarding a contract.

The Shunga Trail to the East is nearing completion in a matter of weeks. Just one retaining wall remains to be completed, then the final walkways will be poured.

Property deeds have been secured from Ed Marling’s store to link the West Shunga Trail with SW McClure St. to the SW of Marling’s. Bids will probably go out next spring, but could be let this fall yet.
The same applies to the Deer Creek Trail bids from 6th to 12th Streets.

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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