Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: October 18, 2010

Kansas Trail News for October 18, 2010 from Sunflower Recreational Trails:

Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy’s Annual Meeting Nov. 13

The 2010 Annual Meeting of Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy will be held on Saturday, November 13, 2010. Doors will open at 11:30 am, lunch will be served at 12:00 noon. At 1:00 p.m. the meeting will begin with the President’s remarks, division reports, and election of board members. Dinner is $10.00 per person and will feature chicken or ham with potato and a trip through the salad bar. All trails supporters and advocates are invited to attend. RSVP at info@kanzatrails.org.

The meeting will be held in the basement of Lamont Hill which is on the south side of Pomona Lake as you enter Pomona State Park (K-368). All attendees will receive a 2010 KRTC t-shirt and window decal. Around 3:00 p.m., attendees will adjourn to enjoy the Flint Hills Nature Trail’s autumn beauty.

Sunflower Grant Helps Pave Trail In Lawrence

By Mark Fagan, Lawrence Journal-World,October 15, 2010

Grant money is helping stretch the city’s pavement in DeVictor Park.

R.D. Johnson Excavating is nearing completion of its latest work at the 40-acre greenbelt park: extending a section of concrete trail by a quarter-mile.

The $39,499 contract is being financed, in part, by a $15,000 grant from the Topeka-based Sunflower Foundation, whose Sunflower Trails program helps communities create projects designed to increase physical activity. Lawrence Parks & Recreation is paying the rest.

Once the latest work is finished, about 2.5 miles of the park’s 4-mile-long trail will be paved, said Mark Hecker, assistant director of parks and recreation. The concrete portion of the path is 8 feet wide, while the rest is a “natural area” cleared using mowers.

“Eventually we’d like to do more, to connect the rest of the park together,” Hecker said.

The park is northeast of Bob Billings Parkway and George Williams Way. The trail serves as a popular route for children walking to nearby Langston Hughes School, Hecker said.

Council Grove Preserves History

The following excerpts were taken from Kansas Preservation (Summer 2010):

Through the efforts of its dedicated citizens, Council Grove became one of the state’s first heritage-tourism destinations. In 1963, three years before the National Historic Preservation Act, preservation advocates successfully nominated one the state’s first National Historic Landmarks, a district that included six Santa Fe Trail-related sites: trail ruts, Council Oak, Post Office Oak, Hays Tavern, Seth Hays House, and the Last Chance Store.

Council Grove’s trail history helped create one of the state’s first heritage tourism centers. Today, Council Grove’s citizens are working to preserve the downtown buildings that tell the rest of the story.

The National Park Service listed the Council Grove Downtown District in the National Register on July 30, 2010. The new district encompasses four-and-a-half blocks in downtown Council Grove, including 71 buildings.

Twenty buildings retain their Late Victorian architecture. These include 14 Italianate buildings, mostly dating from the 1880s real estate boom; five Richardsonian Romanesque buildings mostly from the turn of the century; and one Queen Anne building. The district’s most prolific style is the Progressive-era Commercial Style, which can be found in 27 buildings.

Lawrence’s Burroughs Creek Trail Dedicated

Lawrence’s newest park and trail soon was officially dedicated on October 16 in Parnell Park which is adjacent to the trail. The urban rail-trail runs west of Haskell Avenue between 11th and 23rd streets. The 1.5-mile concrete trail was funded by a federal Transportation Enhancement grant and proceeds of the sales tax approved by voters in November 2008.

The trail connects with the one-mile Haskell Rail-Trail at 23d Street. Trail advocates propose that the trails be combined and extended to the Wakarusa River and Kansas River and re-named either the Two Rivers Trail or River to River Trail.

Hiking Trails At Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Expanded

The following is excerpted from The Plainskeeper (Fall/Winter, 2010) published by the Kansas Chapter of The Nature Conservancy:

“One of the best ways to experience the tallgrass prairie is to take advantage of the over 40 miles of hiking trails on the preserve. There are trails that criss-cross the preserve, trails that take you into the bison pasture and trails that circle the fishing ponds…The preserve’s trail system is now part of the Community Connection Trail. This trail, part of a multi-community effort (Cottonwood Falls and Strong City), highlights the charm of the small towns in the Flint Hills and leads to the boundary of the preserve.”

The National Park Service will be holding a groundbreaking for a new visitors and administration building this fall. The visitor center will be approximately 3,000 square feet and will include an exhibit area, lobby, auditorium/multi-purpose room, office, bookstore, and support spaces. The administrative facility will be approximately 5,400 SF and include private and open office areas, a conference room and support functions. The project will also include a parking area for 37 cars, walkways, landscaping, septic system, underground utility connections to existing structures, security and public address systems, and infrastructure for telephone and internet systems. The work under this contract will not include exhibit design or fabrication, but will require coordination with the exhibit contractor. The project is expected to attain LEED Gold Certification.

There have been some discussions on building a ten-mile connecting trail from the preserve’s trail network to the Flint Hills Nature Trail now under development between Herington and Osawatomie.

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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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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