Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: July 11, 2012

Kansas Trail News for July 11, 2012 from Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy:

Symphony In The Flint Hills Informational Campaign A Success

The 6,000 visitors to the Symphony in the Flint Hills held east of Council Grove accessed the concert site via the Flint Hills Nature Trail. Volunteer docents from Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy explained the trail to concert-goers next to attractive signs which highlighted the trail’s attributes.

KRTC President Doug Walker reports: “A big thank-you to all the volunteers who made our trail and organization look great yesterday. A special thanks to Scott Allen for taking the lead on this. Many hours of work went into this, but we will see the fruits of Scott’s labor in the years to come.

The governor promoted the trail on three different occasions: Ribbon cutting on the trail, a talk to the Patrons and sponsors, and again from the stage prior to the start of the concert. With the recent articles in the Wichita Eagle and Emporia Gazette, the governor and our talking to literally thousands of people yesterday, our trail received more positive publicity than at any time in our history.”

Scott Allen, Kanza Vice-president reports: “Today was awesome, to say the least. It exceeded my expectations. The governor dedicated most of his speech in the Patrons tent to the Flint Hills Nature Trail. He is fully and completely supportive of what we are doing and did a ribbon-cutting of the new section of the trail. The support he has given us and his decision to combine wildlife and parks with tourism are by far the two best things any politician has ever done for us. Today was a turning point for us and a new day has dawned.”

Iola Trail Section Completed

David Tolland with Thrive Allen County reports that the new section of the Prairie Spirit Trail within the city limits of Iola is now complete. Asphalt has been laid and a pedestrian crossing signal across US 59 is now operational. The trail segment goes 1.5 miles from Cofachique Park at the north end of town to Riverside Park. Still to be installed is a unique archway.

Thrive Allen County successfully obtained three grants to assist in developing the trail. Grants were received from the Sunflower Foundation, The Health Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas Health Foundation. The next step is to develop the trail from Riverside Park to Humboldt a distance of 6.5 miles. A local group of volunteers has been cutting back brush every Saturday on this section.

Kansas River To Be Dedicated As National Recreation Water Trail

US Interior Secretary Salazar will be in Kansas for two very special events. On Friday July 13th, he will be at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve for the Grand Opening of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Visitor’s Center and during the morning of Saturday, July 14th, he will be at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan to dedicate the Kansas River as a National Recreational Water Trail. Governor Brownback is also planning to rededicate the Flint Hills Nature Trail on July 14 at the Flint Hills Discovery Center. The public is invited to attend.

Gaslight Beer Gardens In Lawrence Rents Bikes

The new Gaslight Beer Gardens on the north side of the Kaw River Bridge in Lawrence is now renting bicycles to those who want to ride on the nearby levee trail and the mountain bike paths in Riverfront Park. Live music can be also heard at the outdoor gardens.

Kanza Receives $25,000 Grant

Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy has received a $25,000 recognition grant from the Kansas Health Foundation to develop the Flint Hills Nature Trail from Quenemo (K-68) to Pomona town. The funds were matched by another Wichita foundation. Most of the funds will be used for crushed limestone on the four miles. The main obstacle is replacing a long burned out bridge.

Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy Meeting

Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy will be holding its summer meeting on Saturday August 4 in Hillsboro. All trail enthusiasts are invited to attend. The meeting will begin at 11:00 am at Little Pleasures Coffeehouse located at 119 N. Main. A field trip after the meeting adjourns at 2:30 pm will be held on the Sunflower Santa Fe Trail at Galva.

Sunflower Santa Fe Trail Segment Dedicated

Joye Walker with Central Kansas Conservancy reports that a dedication ceremony was held July 7 for a one-mile stretch of the Sunflower Santa Fe Trail at Galva. About 20 people attended the event. A crushed limestone surface has been installed going one mile west of Galva. As more funds are obtained, the trail segment will be extended to McPherson and the Meadowlark Trail which goes north to Lindborg and the Valkommen Trail.

Green Energy Business Park Trails

The plan for converting the former Farmland Industries plant site in east Lawrence into a Green Energy Business Park contains two proposed trails. One paved recreational path would extend north-south from 19th Street to 23rd St. the other would be a nature trail along a creek with a natural treadway.

Best Hiking Trails In Kansas

A website lists the best hiking trails in Kansas. Go to: http://www.trailsofkansas.com/kansashikingtrails.html

Articles In Wichita Eagle And Emporia Gazette Feature The Flint Hills Trail

There were two recent articles in the Wichita Eagle and Emporia Gazette on the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

Plan For Kansas City’s Rock Island Corridor Released

KU graduate students in an Urban Planning Department class called Transportation Planning Implementation completed the Rock Island Trail Study for the Mid-America Regional Council’s “Creating Sustainable Places” project. “The 200-page report includes a sustainability assessment, a review of similar trail corridors, costs, transit alternatives, and a three-phase implementation strategy:

The proposed trail would:

  • Add 17 miles to the region’s trail system.
  • Cost $5.5 – 9 million.
  • Serve around 100,000 – 200,000 people annually.
  • Increase home values. (Average increase of $9,000 per home along similar trails).
  • Promote local sales revenues. (At similar trails average trail users spend up to $400).
  • Promote public health.
  • Connect to the Katy Trail.

The above is excerpted from “The Jayhawk Planner” (Department of Urban Planning, May 2012).

Kansas Trail NewsKansas Trail News is published by Clark H. Coan, Public Information Specialist for Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy, Inc., 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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