Foundation extending People Trail

Two stretches of the Columbus People Trail will be extended this year, the Columbus Park Foundation announced at its annual meeting last week.

The relocated Old Newbern Bridge will be a key connection for the Hawcreek Trail, allowing trail users to pass below 25th Street to avoid heavy vehicular traffic, the foundation announced. This extension will make it possible to travel on the trails from the Columbus Municipal Airport to downtown.

The second People Train extension will be Clifty Trail to Marr Road.

Meanwhile, the visioning and implementation portions of the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department’s 2017-2021 master plan will occur this year.

The department’s intent is to gather community input regarding needs and wishes for programs and facilities, identify Parks Department goals and identify potential funding to help accomplish the goals. When the master plan is completed, a presentation of the final product will be made to the public during meeting.

The foundation announced that the Chuck Wilt Youth Scholarship made it possible last year for 229 children to sign up for 385 Parks and Recreation programs. The scholarship received nearly $18,000 in contributions last year and distributed nearly $17,000 of it, said Doug Fauth, a park board member.

“There is always bigger demand than we can meet,” Fauth said. “The Chuck Wilt Youth Scholarship is a tremendous way to get people involved that otherwise could not.”

2016 Park Foundation highlights

  • Continued various programs through Race2Play
  • Continued Columbus Ninja Warrior
  • Replaced 156 park trees through James K. Baker Tree Fund
  • Volunteers donated almost 1,300 hours cleaning and maintaining 11 segments of the People Trail
  • Introduced ColumBIKE on May 21
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Kaitlyn Evener is an editorial assistant for The Republic. She can be reached at kevener@therepublic.com or 812-379-5633.