Kansas Trails News – 2014

October 1, 2014

Marysville Depot Saved, New Trail Planned

“A crowd at Marysville City Building Monday night erupted in applause after the City Council approved a contract with the Union Pacific Railroad Monday for purchase of the depot and surrounding land.” “The city plans to sell the depot to the Marysville Union Pacific Depot Preservation Society,which plans to restore the structure to its 1929 glory.” “The city is considering the abandoned railbed just west of the depot for trail development continuing north from downtown’s trail to connect with the Blue River Rail Trailnorth of Marysville. The trail would become part of the Quad States Trail System,a network of bike trails connecting Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.” (Marysville Advocate, 9-11-14)

Kanstarter Group Funding for Trails

“A website, called Kanstarter, is being developed by Reflective Group in Baldwin City, and organizers hope it will be online by mid-October. On the site, people will be able to read about projects, watch videos and then decide whether they would like to support those projects either with donations or volunteer efforts. Four community projects already have been selected for inclusion on the site: an updated miniature golf course in Burdett, the purchase of land to build a grocery store in Plains, construction of an amphitheater to replace the Wilson Opera House and construction of a recreational trail in Yates Center.(Excerpted from Lawrence Journal-World, 9-15-14)

Lawrence Receives Trail Grant By Chad Lawhorn

Lawrence Journal-World September 12, 2014 “A hike along the banks of the Kansas River soon will get quite a bit easier. Lawrence City Hall has won a major grant to build an approximately half-mile long trail between Constant Park near Sixth and Tennessee streets and Burcham Park near Second and Indiana streets. “Basically the trail has been there for a long time, but it has just been a dirt walking path,” said Mark Hecker, the city’s assistant director of parks and recreation. “This will allow us to make it much nicer. It will attract a lot more users after we are done.”

The city was awarded a $53,000 grant from the private Sunflower Foundation. The city will spend an equal amount of money to complete the project. Hecker said he hopes work on the trail, which will be a mix of concrete and either crushed asphalt or crushed limestone, could begin later this fall. The trail should be open by the summer. “It really is a cool area down along the river,” Hecker said. “It will be like having a lakeside walking path.”

Hecker said the trail will be about 20 to 30 feet from the water in most cases. The trail will connect with another recently completed trail, the Outside for a Better Inside Trailthat circles the large pond that was part of the former VFW property. That property has been donated to the city by the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, and is being converted into the city’s newest park — the Sandra J. Shaw Community Health Park. Hecker said a crew of volunteers from Westar Energy have completed a gazebo at the new park, and city crews will be making improvements to the parking lot soon.”

The loose asphalt millings such as has been used on the three miles of cross-country trails at Rock Chalk Park will wash away when the river overflows it banks, possibly as soon as next spring. Rolled, crushed limestone with Calcium Chloride (i.e. levee trail) will turn into a hard-packed surface suitable for wheelchairs, road bikes and strollers and is less likely to wash away.

Development along Bikeways Soars

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal(9-26-14), apartment blocks are springing up along bikeways. “In some cities, bike infrastructure is prompting real-estate development. Many of the newest luxury apartments and condo building in Minneapolis are rising along the city’s Midtown Greenway, a 5.5-mile-long bike and pedestrian trail converted from an abandoned rail corridor. In the past few years, newer building s are installing their main entrances off the trail, and some developers have secured even more direct access.”

Annual Meetings for Rail-Trail Organizations

The Annual Meeting for Sunflower Rail-Trails Conservancy will be held on Saturday, October 11 at the Sunflower Foundation’s offices in Topeka. The meeting begins at 11:00 am and all trails enthusiasts are invited. An update on seven rails-to-trails projects will be given. The Annual Meeting for Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy will be held on Saturday Nov. 15 at Smoked Creations in Ottawa. Registration begins at 10:30 am. An update on Phase I and Phase I-B of the KDWPT project to develop the Flint Hills Nature Trail will be given by the consultants, RDG Planning and Design.