NASHVILLE — Family of committee members who died before seeing a single inch of Salt Creek Trail built used shiny shovels to turn chunks of Brown County mud in a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday.
Numerous trail supporters gathered in the Brown County Community YMCA parking lot to hear Salt Creek Trail Committee member Bob Kirlin and others talk about the historic day before watching Don Hughes, Judy Zimmerman, Jane Huffman and Andy Rudd do what their brother, their spouses and their father could not.
Committee member Tom Tuley called the long-awaited moment bittersweet because John Rudd, Bill Zimmerman, Howard Hughes and Stu Huffman died during the 10 or so years it took to get the trail from concept to construction.
State Rep. Eric Koch, R-Bedford, pointed out that the $850,000 check for Phase 1 of the project was signed in 2004 by Gov. Joe Kernan, three governors removed.
The Salt Creek Trail is a 2.5-mile paved pedestrian trail for walking, running and biking planned to stretch from the CVS in Nashville to the north entrance of Brown County State Park.
The trail is being built in four phases. The phase now under construction will run from CVS to the YMCA along the north bank of Salt Creek. It is financed with a $1 million Transportation Enhancement grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation and $260,000 generated in a fundraiser.
Kirlin noted that 100 percent of the match came from local donors.
Kirlin thanked the YMCA and Brown County resident Andy Rogers for their donations of land for the first phase.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources will provide $900,000 for the state park portion of the trail. That leaves the unfunded middle portion, including a planned route from Brown County High School that will connect to the trail between the YMCA and Law Enforcement Center.
Tuley announced the start of another round of fundraising.
“The good news I have is that just two days ago Bob and I were informed that we have a $50,000 challenge grant from the Howard Hughes Legacy Fund through the Brown County Community Foundation,” he said.
After applause died down, Tuley said the committee must raise $50,000 by the end of the year.
Tax-deductible contributions to the Salt Creek Trail pass-through fund can be made to the Brown County Community Foundation, which is at 91 W. Mound St. in Nashville.
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