Syracuse-Wawasee Park Foundation met Monday and heard updates from several of its committees on various projects, including the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail project.
Mike Buhrt, who serves as the liaison between the foundation and the trail committee, said new trails Executive Director Megan McClellan had secured a Safe Routes to School grant, which will be used in the planning of trails to the schools.
Additionally, the Syracuse Lake section of the trail is nearing completion. Buhrt stated work to finish the small remaining sections will begin as soon as possible in April. They will then consider holding a tails and trails event to celebrate the completion of that portion of trail.
Four companies are putting together estimates for a portion of trail along Harkless Drive. Buhrt noted in that section the road is not centered in the right of way. This leaves the trail committee with two options: crisscross the trail back and forth on different sides of the road or move the road. The companies will provide estimates on both options.
The committee is also working with Eagle Scouts to create trail head kiosks. Currently, Buhrt stated they are discussing where to place them, with one possible location being the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex.
Buhrt concluded his report noting after eight years he felt it is time for him to step down as the chairperson of the trail committee and as a board member of the park foundation. He recommended Erick Leffler to fill his spot. Board members approved Leffler to do so.
Park Superintendent Chad Jonsson noted batting cages, which Turkey Creek Township is helping fund, will be added at the athletic complex. Other work at the complex will include clearing underbrush to make the creek more visible.
A group of individuals — from the town, parks department, Rotary Club, among others — will be meeting March 4 to discuss possibilities for the newly acquired Laudeman Park. Jonsson noted they will be talking in terms of the next five, six or 10 years. “It may be a grassy area for a while,” he said.
He added so far they do have mulch, donated by NIPSCO, they hope to use for trails in the park. There is also talk about using town ground asphalt to build a little parking area, too.
The next park foundation meeting is tentatively scheduled for 5:15 p.m. April 28.