Lincolnville seeks donations for park trail

Staff writer

Lincolnville City Council Parks and Recreation Chairman Sherri Pankratz is spearheading an effort to build a “fit trail” in the city park.

The trail would consist of a six-foot-wide concrete walkway that would be an eighth- or quarter- mile long, depending on how much money can be raised to build it.

Pankratz estimated the cost of a quarter-mile trail at $10,000. The city has committed $2,500 toward an eighth-mile trail and is seeking matching funds from private donations.

Pankratz said if the public would contribute $5,000, the city would add another $2,500 to support a quarter-mile trail.

Pankratz also has applied for $15,000 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation to cover the cost of all-weather exercise stations that would be placed along the route. These would include step exercises, lifts, balance beams, and heart-rate checks. She expects to know in six months if the grant is approved.

According to Pankratz, the grant would cover the cost of a pea-gravel or mulch trail but not a concrete trail.

She said she chose to build a concrete walkway because of the many elderly people who live in town. Concrete is more stable than pea gravel for their feet and it would work well for people in wheelchairs. Benches would be placed along the path for walkers to take breaks, if necessary.

The walkway was designed to be aesthetically pleasing, winding through the park with gentle curves and no corners. It would traverse a new bridge that would be built across the small drainage ditch that runs through the park.

The trail would lead past the children’s playground, the restrooms, and the recently installed landscaping at the northwest corner of the park.

People who hold events at the community building could use the trail.

“Parents could walk the trail while their kids play,” Pankratz said. “I have planned it that people can park at the community center and start walking the trail from there.”

She said two contractors have consented to install the walkway at reduced cost. Others have volunteered to help with installing the exercise stations.

Pankratz would like to see the trail in place before Octoberfest next fall, if not sooner. She wants the community to see how their donations contribute toward the beautification of the town and that the trail will provide exercise options.

“I want to assure people that their donations to the city will be used,” she said.

Donations can be designated for a specific project other than the exercise trail.

“If someone has an idea for a new toy for the park, they should donate the money and we will do it,” Pankratz said.

During the last two years on the council, Pankratz has led other efforts to improve the park, efforts that were made possible with funds from the city and donations from present and former community members. These improvements included new playground equipment, new goals for the basketball court, and a beautification project by the Centre Girls Scouts. She hopes the city can install a water fountain in the park in the future.

Pankratz hopes the improvements will encourage others to move to Lincolnville and raise their families there.

 

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