Clark County bike stop upgrades sought

The Clark County Park District applied for a NatureWorks grant offered by the ODNR on June 1, requesting $61,320 to help cover a total of $82,122 in proposed renovations.

According to Clark County Park District Executive Director Carol Kennard, the grant requires volunteer labor and a 25 percent match that will be funded by the district budget.

“We try to partner to get more done with our budget,” Kennard said. “We are working with some Miami (University) students.”

The grant has not yet been awarded, but Kennard said it should be announced after the state approves the budget for next year.

“There is a certain amount allocated per county,” she said. “We’re competing with other organizations in Clark County.”

Kennard is confident that the improvements will succeed if they receive the grant.

“The biggest hurdle is whether we get the grant,” she said.

Park officials encouraged community members to send their ideas and have already received some feedback.

“We certainly appreciate and welcome comments at any time,” Kennard said. “Everything we received has been positive.”

The renovation plans include adding walkways from the parking lot to the trail by the play train, building a 20 by 20 shelter house with picnic tables, covering the Bike Fix it station, placing new bike racks and making the bathrooms vaulted and more permanent. The plan will also replace dead trees and plant new ones, paint benches and add a children’s replica play train station next to the play train.

The renovations are meant to make the trail easily accessible and supply visitors with the accommodations they need and want.

Trail-walker Keysan Owens admitted that he would like to see more access to drinking water.

“I do walk a lot and it’s kind of hard holding a big jug,” he said.

However, Owens’ main concern is safety.

Stacey Malone, eighth-grade science teacher at South Vienna Middle School, said that she and her kids walk the trail to see the animals.

“The trail is not only for exercise,” Malone said. “We like looking for the animals…it’s kind of educational.”

Owens enjoys the popular trailhead station for the same reason.

“I like walking out here because I see animals and things,” he said.

To share your thoughts or ideas about the potential renovation, email info@clarkcountyparks.org or call the Park District at 937-882-6000.

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