SYRACUSE — The monthly meeting of the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail Committee held Monday evening, Feb. 19, opened with the introduction of two new members: Adam Richardson, an independent contractor, and Angie Racolta, a real estate agent at Reecer Properties.
One member who was not on hand to greet the newcomers was Treasurer Dr. Tom Edington, due to the recent death of his mother, Phebe Edington, in Bluffton. Edington was named the trail committee’s volunteer of the month, and a $100 donation was made to Bluffton Parks in his mother’s name.
Edington’s treasurer’s report for the month of January showed donations of $3,299 and expenses of $8,125.95. Included in expenses was a 1 percent contract incentive bonus of $3,783 for Executive Director Megan McClellan.
Donations included $292.50 from the Winter Warm-up run and $350 made to the Conklin Bay construction project.
McClellan reported the Conklin Bay project did not receive the Indiana Office of Tourism Department’s $250,000 grant, in spite of substantial community support and matching donations from Kosciusko County Convention Recreation and Visitors Bureau and K21 Foundation equal to more than 100 percent of the grant. She added IOTD has not yet explained the reasons for its decision.
McClellan is currently contacting large donors who may be interested in helping maintain the matching grants from KCCRV and K21.
The committee is searching for a location to host a National Trails Day Celebration with Tommy Danger Saturday, June 2. Danger is an “adventure athlete” and the founder of the More Than Just Me Foundation, which uses adventure projects to raise awareness for different causes around the world.
The committee is also seeking sponsors for its proposed bike share program on the Syracuse-Wawasee Trail. Advertising space will be available on the bikes’ baskets or on signs at bike racks along the trail.
At a cost of $1,800 per bike, per year, the bike-share company Zagster would assume responsibility for maintenance, distribution of bikes along the trail, GPS preventing bikes being lost or stolen and liability.
The bikes, McClellan stated, will make the trail “more usable and accessible.”
From 6 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 21, McClellan will lead a community meeting at the Syracuse Community Center to discuss the Syracuse-Webster Road Trail project. The first draft of the engineer’s estimate puts the project’s cost at $137,900. This does not include the Brooke Pointe section of the trail.
The 2018 Couch to 5K is expected to start the first week of May. The nine-week course will be coached by Lyle Schrock. The $45 fee includes the entrance fee to the Flotilla 5K.
The Couch to 5K slowly adds running over the weeks. Participants find having a group and set meeting time — possibly Tuesdays — makes them “more likely to succeed,” reported McClellan. Those interested may contact McClellan at [email protected]
McClellan reported a “good response” to the Tour Des Lakes survey and 28 riders already registered for next year. A planning meeting will be held at 6 p.m. March 5.
Other upcoming events include: walk/yoga at 9:30 a.m. Thursdays at the Syracuse Community Center; Born to Run from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Syracuse Public Library; trail clean-up 2 to 4 p.m. April 20 at the community center; Tails and Trails 2 to 4 p.m. at the community center, April 28.
The next trails committee meeting will be held at 6 p.m. March 19.