By Dan Spalding
WINONA LAKE — A new trailhead featuring a playground and pavilion is intended to connect the community while also honoring a beloved congregant of Christ’s Covenant Church in Winona Lake.
The Teune Trailhead was dedicated Saturday with a ribbon-cutting and is named after Ed Teune, who died two years ago at the age of 73.
Teune was known for his love of children and bicycling, and his widow, Jean Teune, said he would be pleased with the recently finished project that is adjacent to the newest extension of the Winona Lake Trail.
“It’s really nice they decided to honor him,” said Jean Teune, who was joined by her two sons and other family members for the celebratory ribbon-cutting.
Lead Pastor Marc Goodwin said church leaders had been considering the construction of a playground on the east side of the church’s property along Pierceton Road, but changed gears after learning the town and officials with Grace College were looking to expand the trail to a point west of the church.
The playground, paid for by the church, includes a pavilion, a sidewalk and three play stations built on artificial turf adjacent to the new trail, which should be ready for use within a few weeks.
“The project was an effort to reach out to the young people of the community, Goodwin said.
The trailhead, he said, literally connects the community.
“It’s been a wonderful encouragement to me, as a member of the community, to see the teamwork and cooperation of our town, from the town council and Grace College,” he said.
“Our hope is that the community will use it,” he said.
Several church members spoke at the dedication about Ed Teune and the impact he made.
Teune was known for keeping an eye on children to make sure they never wandered away and he did a lot of little things to help people.
Church member Lois Witte said Teune loved his church familiy and demonstrated it by helping others.
“He performed labors of love at every turn. He was there for a crying child. He was there when a runaway toddler fled too far from their parents. He was there when your hands were cold. He looked for ways to serve others. Ed was so much like Jesus,” said Lois Witte.
“May this aptly named Teune Trailhead serves as a catalyst for many to serve the young just as Ed did for 30-plus years,” she said.
The newest portion of the trail is about a half-mile long. Combined, the entire trail will now span about four miles, according to Town Manager Craig Allebach.