Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: February 10, 2014

Kansas Trail News for February 10, 2014, via Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy:

Survey For Trails Along Side Scenic Byways

Please complete the following survey which will indicate the level of support for trails along side Kansas Scenic Byways. Federal funding will be available to build selected multi-use paths along selected byways such as the Prairie Trail between Lindsborg and Marquette. Go to: Help us improve cycling and walking along Kansas Byways

Lawrence Proposes To Extend Burroughs Creek Trail

After three years of pushing, trail advocates finally convinced the City of Lawrence to apply for a federal Transportation Alternatives (TA) grant (administered by KDOT) in February for the expansion of the Burroughs Creek Trail north through the north edge of downtown and into Constant Park, west of the downtown along the Kansas River. The shared use path extension will total a little over one mile (including utilizing two existing short paths). It will pass by the Amtrak station now being restored and by a scenic river overlook. Eventually, the path could be extended to the path being built in the new Community Health Park.

Blue River Rail Trail Connection Advances

“A long fought effort to save the historic Union Pacific Depot in Marysville from demolition was accomplished Monday evening as the Marysville City Council unanimously approved purchase of the three block area which includes the depot, the former railyard to the west property line extending from Carolina Street on the south to Calhoun on the north…A proposal by the Marysville Union Pacific Depot Preservation Society calls for that group to then acquire the depot, and adjacent parking immediately north and south from the city for $20,000, offsetting a total purchase price for the entire property for $151,000. That group had worked diligently for the past year hoping to buy and renovate the 1920?s era, southwestern style structure. It also allows for connection of the Pony Express Plaza and Seventh Street corridor improvements downtown with that area extending three blocks north to Calhoun, and paves the way for the possibility of connecting with the Blue River Rail Trail at the north edge of Marysville.” ~KNDY

Sunflower To Hold Quarterly Meeting Feb. 22

Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy will be holding its first meeting of 2014 on Saturday, February 22 in Council Grove. Topics of discussion include three possible out-of-service rail corridors which could be railbanked and converted into rail-trails. All trail enthusiasts are invited to attend the meeting which begins at 11:00 am at the Hays House. After the meeting there will be a field trip to the trails at the Kaw Heritage Park (depending upon weather and trail conditions).

Lawrence Trail Receives Sunflower Grant And Raises Match

Below are excerpts from a Lawrence Journal-World article (1/03/14):

Officials with the Lawrence nonprofit group Outside for a Better Inside have announced they’ve successfully raised $55,000 in private funds to match a $55,000 grant that will be used to fund a central Lawrence trail project.

As we’ve previously reported, the Sunflower Foundation has agreed to provide grant money for a project to build a nature park and trail on about eight acres of the former Veterans of Foreign Wars post in the Pinckney neighborhood.

The Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center is donating the property to the city, and Outside for a Better Inside has committed to find the grant money and the private money to build the trail through the property, which has an old pond and a good amount of hardwood forest.

The Sunflower grant, however, was contingent upon local leaders matching the grant money with private funds. Longtime Lawrence real estate executive John McGrew leads the Outside for a Better Inside group, and he predicted it wouldn’t take long to come up with the necessary $55,000 in matching funds. And it didn’t. It was only announced in mid-December that the group had been chosen for the grant. The group now hopes to raise another $20,000 to make other improvements to the trail project.

I haven’t heard anything definitive from city officials yet, but Outside for a Better Inside now believes that work could begin on constructing the trail this spring. Previously city officials have said they believe this new city park, which will be named in honor of the late Bert Nash leader Sandra Shaw, could be open to the public by the fall.

The idea for trails in the area may not be done yet. The property, which is at about Second and Alabama streets, is adjacent to Burcham Park. There’s been talk of extending a trail from Burcham to Constant Park, which is the piece of greenspace along the Kansas River at Sixth and Kentucky streets. Marilyn Hull — a staff member with the Douglas County Community Foundation, which administers a fund for Outside for a Better Inside — said private fundraising is being contemplated for that project. I haven’t heard an estimate yet of how much money needs to be raised. If successful, the project would create a river-walk area that would be just a block or two away from Massachusetts Street.”

Bill To Open All Federal Lands To Hunting Advances

The US House has overwhelmingly passed a bill to require that all federal lands be open to hunting, fishing and recreational shooting. This includes national parks such as the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas and would affect not only protected wildlife but trail users. It would affect trail users on other Kansas trails such as the magnificent Table Mound National Recreation Trail at Elk City Lake; the highly scenic Rocktown Hiking Trail at Wilson Lake; and, the outstanding Buffalo Tracks National Recreation Trail at Kanopolis Lake. It may also affect visitors exploring trails in the Haskell Wetlands on the Haskell Indian Nations University campus and Fort Larned National Historic Site. Fortunately, the bill would allow park managers to ban hunting if certain conditions are met. The US Senate still has to approve the bill for it to become law. See: The Hill

Indy Cultural Trail

“An urban cycling model has arrive in Indianapolis: the new $63 million, eight-mile bike-friendly Indy Cultural Trail The path connects five downtown neighborhoods, including arty Foundation Square, to top downtown sites, including Capitol Building, City Market and White River State Park, a 250-acre park that hosts the Indianapolis Zoo and more major attractions. Bicycles can be rented along the paved and lighted pathway, allow rider to cruise past public art, including a motion-activated firefly-like swarm of LED lights. City officials say that planners from Cologne, Germ., to Portland, Ore., have come to see how the city most famous for a 500-mile car race managed to swap auto for bike lanes and still keep everything rolling smoothly.” ~NYT 1-12-14

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