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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Land donations signal major step ahead for fitness trail

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jinsie Bingham, City Council, Joy Marley, Peoples Pathways, Lynn Bohmer, Mayor Sue Murray, Rod Weinschenk, Greencastle Parks and Recreation and Laurie Hardwick, City Attorney look over a map of land plots recently donated by the Bohmers for the People Pathways project.
The People Pathways project got a boost with the donation of two plots of land for the Albin Pond phase recently. David and Lynn Bohmer deeded over .69 of an acre and .68 of an acre in an area between Shadowlawn Drive and Albin Pond Road near the Sherwood Christian Church to be used as part of the trail route.

The City of Greencastle is also in the process of acquiring 20 plots of land in the same area that will also become part of the pathway.

According the Greencastle City Attorney Laurie Hardwick ten of the plots have been secured.

"Most property owners have been contacted with offers," said Hardwick.

The City is paying for the plots with an INDOT 80/20 Grant that the City received earlier.

"We hope our donation will help energize others to give," said Bohmer.

"We believe People Pathways is important. In our previous house outside Greencastle, we lived on property that bordered something similar and felt it was a real asset to the community," she added.

The People Pathways project started with a volunteer group in 1995 that created a vision and goal to enhance the quality of life in Greencastle and Putnam County by developing a network of trails.

"There are so many advantages for multi-use trails," said Joy Marley, Board President of People Pathways.

"The pathways connects schools, allows for both pedestrian and bicycle traffic, and allows our community the opportunity to address issues of increasing fuels costs and healthcare concerns," she added.

Creation of the trail system is being implemented in phases as opportunities and funding become available.

The Albin Pond leg is divided into two segments. The first one begins near Tzouanakis Intermediate and runs east along Albin Pond Road to Toddson Drive. From there it cuts south to Deer Meadow School and stops.

The second leg begins at the school and runs south to connect with Greencastle High School. The city has secured a second grant, called Safe Routes to School, for this second portion of the Albin Pond leg.

There are currently five phases with three completed. The Albin Pond portion of the trail should be open in the fall of 2009. That will leave only one more phase to be completed.

In May 1999 Phase One was opened with a Greencastle/Fillmore Trail connecting Greencastle to Fillmore. This is a 3.1-mile stone trail totally funded and built by community volunteers on an unused railroad right-of-way and sewer line easement.

A Putnam County Community Foundation Challenge Grant, donations and contributions of in-kind services helped develop the trail.

In 2001 the City was awarded a Transportation Enhancement Grant for $469,917 for the Pathways project.

Phase Two of the trail was opened in May 2002. This is a two-mile paved trail connecting the eastside of Greencastle with Big Walnut Sports Park and the industrial park. Grants from the Lilly Endowment, CINergy/PSI, Indiana Gas and Wal-Mark all supported this phase.

In 2006 the city was awarded a safe route to school grant for $159,487.

Phase Three is the Albin Pond Trail and it's creation will address some longstanding safety issues by connecting four local schools, a nature center and ties to a recently completed city funded sidewalk improvement project.

The Campus Link Trail is the fourth phase of the project and involves the construction of a 3.95-mile trail from Greencastle's central business district to DePauw University's intramural athletic fields, the Nature Preserve, Greencastle schools and the new Ivy Tech Community College Campus. Lastly, it will connect to the Area 30 Career Center.

This phase is also important in helping to develop the National Road Heritage Trail, a 150 mile cross state continuous system of multi-use trails.

Funding for this piece of the project is being generated with a partnership of the Coleman Foundation, DePauw university, an INDOT Enhancement Grant, commitment by Heartland Automotive and the City of Greencastle. Part of the engineering for this link has been completed.

Phase five is the paved trail that goes around Big Walnut Sports Park. This connects with the Greencastle/Fillmore Trail and the Sports Park Link. This loop was opened in March 2005.

Marley, who has been instrumental in the creation and continued interest in the People Pathways believes that public and private entities working together occurs in what she describes as the three "P's".

"Planning, partnership and perseverance are the three P's. We have long-term implementation in phases for planning. We have a partnership between the city of Greencastle, Putnam County officials, the Putnam County Community Foundation, local industries and businesses, private donors like the Bohmers and the many volunteers. And, of course we have perseverance," she said.

For information about the People Pathways call the Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center, the Putnam County Community Foundation or the Greencastle Chamber of Commerce.

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