Volunteers hope to put city on a better path
Organizations unite to repair Central Park walking path
It’s been 28 years since Marion Kiwanis and Lions Clubs teamed to build a nature trail at the south end of Central Park, and time and erosion have taken their toll.
Once lined with plastic and covered with screenings, the trail has deteriorated into a dirt path scarred by ruts and tree roots. Originally equipped with lights, the lights were removed after being repeatedly vandalized.
Volunteers started working Monday to change that, spurred on by a new collaboration between Marion Pride and Centre Masonic Lodge No. 147.
Recycled asphalt millings from recent work on Main St. are being used to cover the path.
As he waited for Parks and Recreation board member Chase Carlson to bring a wheelbarrow of millings down the path, lodge member Jerry Kline leaned on a rake as he talked about the project.
“We put screenings on it years and years ago, but that’s not as good as this,” he said. “This will last longer. They brought about two little city dump truck loads down here, which is not a lot, but when you’re shoveling by hand it is.”
After Carlson dumped another load, Kline set about spreading it, stopping several times to pull out small chunks of asphalt to use for filling in rougher spots.
“It won’t need much packing,” Kline said. “It will do a pretty good job by itself.”
While Kline, Carlson, and lodge member Melvin Honeyfield were first to arrive, other volunteers trickled in, until seven men were hard at work.
One of the most welcome was Doug Regnier, who pulled up with a small tractor equipped with a scoop. The implement was too big to go down narrow spots of the trail, but was useful moving millings around the trail heads and loading wheelbarrows.
After the crew had done about 30 yards of the part of the path running alongside the creek, Kline wasn’t sure they would have enough millings on hand to do the entire trail. He said it wouldn’t be hard to get enough to complete the job if they ran out.