Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee met Monday evening. The meeting started around 6 p.m. with Megan McClellan, executive director, chairing the majority of the meeting.
McClellan has been in her position for about three and a half months, so much of Monday night’s discussion related to what committee members would like to see in the future.
First and foremost on the agenda was the generous grant from the Pat and Mike Miller Family Foundation. The Miller family owns a house on Lake Wawasee, and donated $50,000 to the trail committee to aid in their completion of laying more trails around the lakes area. The goal is to use this money to complete the stretch of trails between Harkless Road and the Sleepy Owl. The Miller family has also agreed to do a one to one match (on top of the previous donation) of up to $50,000 in order to get other local donors involved. Member Kay Young presented the committee details on this grant.
The group also spoke of trail kiosks sponsored by the Kosciusko County Visitors Bureau and the Boy Scouts. Two local Boy Scouts are willing to construct trail kiosks as part of an Eagle Scout project, and the Visitors Bureau is interested in funding two of the kiosks. Each kiosk kit will cost $1,910. The committee discussed possible locations for these two kiosks, along with the possibility of more.
McClellan directed the group in assigning and reviewing subcommittees. Communications and outreach and new trail subcommittees remained the same. The subcommittee assigned to planning two to three events per year did not consist of any members present. There was an agreement among the group to combine the subcommittees of signage and maintenance. McClellan encouraged members to join at least one subcommittee.
The trail committee ended the meeting by discussing a 10 year plan that will be presented to the community and be prominent on their website. The committee agreed a 10 year plan would allow more time to focus on building trails (a slow process) and less time spent reviewing plans. The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Syracuse Community Center.