Location: Kansas

Sunflower Foundation Announces August 2014 Trail Grants

The Sunflower Foundation has announced their latest grants for community trail development, part of their commitment to making Kansas one of the best trail states in the country.

Sunflower Foundation

According to the press release:

Sunflower Foundation Awards More Than $240,000 To Develop Community Trails

The Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded a total of $244,675 to seven Kansas communities and one school district to build new public trails or enhance existing ones.

“It’s a pleasure to grow the Sunflower Trails family, creating more and more outdoor space for communities to share,” said Billie Hall, President and CEO of the Sunflower Foundation.

“What started as a way to help communities enhance their built environment has evolved over ten years into a dynamic way to engage people around health and wellness,” Hall said. “Each project reflects its unique community, and it’s exciting to see the creative ways each trail is used.”

So far, the program has helped fund more than 125 trail projects across the state. You can find Sunflower Trails near you with this trail finder: http://SunflowerFoundation.org/TrailFinder.

The Board of Trustees approved the following eight grants at its August board meeting:

City of Lawrence
A popular footpath along the Kansas River in Douglas County will soon be much more accessible thanks to this community-driven project. The city plans to open the new 10-foot wide, ADA-friendly trail by spring of 2015. The improved trail — located in Lawrence’s Burcham Park — will connect several existing trails, including a recently completed one behind Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.

City of Derby
Madison Avenue Central Park will be the site of Derby’s new one-mile walking trail. Residents of the Sedgwick County town voted for a ½-cent sales tax in 2013 to fund transformation of the park from a treeless lot to an inviting green space. Plans for the park have been developed by a citizen task force.

City of Roeland Park
Volunteers in Roeland Park are working to restore an urban green space called “R Park.” Thanks to vigorous fundraising, this community in northern Johnson County will build an activity center and arts space in the park. A new ½-mile trail will connect to existing walking areas creating a ¾-mile loop.

Riley County
The Riley County Parks Department is creating new green space for the people of Manhattan to enjoy. A new ½-mile trail in Fairmont Park will connect with a planned outdoor activity center, and will eventually tie into a proposed nature trail along the river.

City of Conway Springs
Conway Springs in Sumner County plans to build its first community trail this fall. The ½-mile long trail is part of a larger plan to transform a treeless lot into a shaded activity center for parents and children to enjoy the outdoors.

City of Paola
This seven-mile trail will encircle Lake Miola just outside of town. The project is part of the “Paola Pathways” initiative, a grassroots effort to make this Miami County community more liveable and walkable.

City of Tonganoxie
The popular Chieftain Trail in Tonganoxie will be enhanced with a trailhead kiosk showcasing trail maps, exercise information and local history. Distance markers will also be installed on this three-mile community trail in Leavenworth County.

USD #233 Olathe Public Schools
Sunnyside Elementary School will build a ¼-mile trail loop just inside the school-yard boundary to create a safe walking/running environment for students and staff. The school’s grant match comes from several years of fundraising by the school booster club. The “Sunrunners” was the first marathon club in the school district and is now the largest, with more than 200 students.

Since its inception in 2005, the Sunflower Trails program has partnered in more than 125 trail projects in more than 50 Kansas counties. For additional information about the Sunflower Trails program, please contact Healthy Living & Active Communities program officer Elizabeth Stewart at estewart@sunflowerfoundation.org or (785) 232-3000.

The mission of the Sunflower Foundation is to serve as a catalyst for improving the health of Kansans, which it supports through a program of grants and related activities.

You can learn more about the Sunflower Foundation at SunflowerFoundation.org, and learn about and apply for the next round of the Sunflower Trails program.

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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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