I just wanted to give everyone an update as to what is going on at the park. Next Workday
Saturday, January 19th will be our next workday. We will meet at the lower parking lot near the Pavilion II trailhead at 8:00 a.m. We will divide up into three groups. One group will focus on clearing the trail (cutting small brush and weeds that are growing in the trail). Another group will focus on benching the trail while another group will focus on constructing some erosion control devises (i.e. rolling grade dips, kicks, etc.). As discussed below, we may work on installing signposts. Aside from flagging the trail at the amphitheater for the grant proposal, I will not be laying out any new trail until the existing trail is complete and in tiptop shape. I don't want us to build so fast that we neglect to include the features necessary to make the trail sustainable and enjoyable.
Things needed for the workday: bring water, gloves, a Maddox, shears, a hoe, and/or any weed removing devise. If anyone has a power trimmer with a small brush attachment, that would work best. Boy Scouts
Some of you have already noticed the new bridge behind Pavilion I. The bridge crosses a 20 ft. wide drain on the Red Cedar Loop. The bridge was built by Boy Scout Michael Cox as his Eagle Scout project. Like other newly built bridges, this bridge was built to engineering standards proposed by IMBA but with some additional improvements. The footers for the bridge are formed concrete. The treated lumber supports and stringers are all bolted to the footers using galvanized lag bolts. Also, it is decked in a composite decking surface so it should last for a very long time. The treated lumber on the ends was painted in tar prior to the bridge being backfilled to add additional protection from the elements. Also, an additional stringer above the number recommended runs the length of the bridge. The bridge is absolutely top of the line and should last for very, very long time. Thanks to Michael and crew as well as his father, Ted, and Kurt Kowalski for this wonderful bridge.
Also, Kurt, Glen, Josh, and I met with another Boy Scout seeking an Eagle Scout project. We discussed three potential projects and are currently waiting on the Scout's proposal to present to the county. It is important to note that the increase in Scouts seeking projects within the park is a direct result of Kurt's involvement with the Scouts and Friends of Rotary Park. Thanks, Kurt, for spreading the word.White Oak Loop
As I have previously discussed, a new section of the White Oak Loop has been opened. This section is part of the perimeter trail and connects two previously existing point-to-point trails. Kurt, Glen, Josh, and I began benching the new section on New Year's Eve. Those guys did some awesome work and got a lot done. There is still a substantial amount of clearing and grooming that needs to take place on this trail, however, especially through the TVA easement. Feel free to take a pair of shears to the park one day and work on this. The more people that pitch in, the sooner the trail will be completed. Amphitheater
I have flagged one of the trails to the amphitheater. I will complete the flagging of the loop soon. We are waiting on the grant process before beginning work on this section as this trail is tied directly to that grant, which should fund the trail's bridges.Signs
We still have additional signs to install. We may work on this at the next workday depending on ground temperatures and whether or not the auger is available. I have also ordered new "No Horses" signs. These will be installed in four locations upon arrival. The signposts are already installed.
I appreciate all the help and support I have had lately. As we worked on Monday and with 2008 less than 24 hours away, we stopped to reflect on all the work we have done in the last 2 to 3 years. The park has come a very long way since the tornado. Once again, people are starting to travel from all around to visit the park. I strongly believe that 2008 will see even more improvements and the spirit of volunteerism will grow.