Students walking to school in Greencastle could have less street to cross if the city is awarded a grant to complete a connection in the People Pathways trail system.
The Indiana Department of Transportation's Safe Route's to School Program could pay approximately $150,000 to have a section of the Albin Pond portion of the trail completed.
If the city is awarded the money, first and second grade students could bicycle or walk from the Deer Field Estates neighborhood to Deer Meadow Elementary School without having to travel in streets without sidewalks.
After the portion of the trail near the school is completed, the project would then also connect the high school and middle school.
The connector trail would travel across the intersection of Indianapolis Road and Percy Julian Drive, connecting the campuses of the three schools.
A landowner has agreed to part of the project near the elementary school which would reroute the trail behind homes so students do not have to walk in the street.
"We hope moms and dads who live close won't jump in the car and drive their kids to school, but will walk with them when the weather is nice," Greencastle Parks and Recreation Director Rod Weinschenk said at a Greencastle Park Board meeting Wednesday.
Although the grant focuses on allowing students in grades kindergarten to eighth grade to walk to school safely, Weinschenk said the project would be a benefit for the whole city, especially since budget constraints had put the construction of the trail by the city on hold.
Now, if completed, older students could use the path to walk to school in the mornings as well as travel between buildings for sports practices.
Other residents would be able to use the trail for fitness and relaxation.
If approved, the city would not be required to match any money for the project. Instead, Weinschenk said, a five percent "good faith" donation the state would expect the city to make would be met by using students from Area 30 classes to perform part of the work.
After it is reviewed by the city council at their meeting at Tuesday, a 20-page application will have to be completed by city officials and mailed to the Department of Transportation for review, and possible approval.
In other park business, board members approved a motion to purchase property from a railroad enlargement connected to the southwest corner of Robe-Ann Park.
No bids have yet been made for the two lots which amount to total of .6 acres of land.
Also, board members agreed to enter into an interlocal agreement with the county to put up a basketball goal at the Putnam County Courthouse annex.
The goal would be opened for basketball games and shootouts between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.