Kansas Trails Summit Scheduled for October 19 2007 in Lawrence
Advocates in the on-going effort to develop a comprehensive state trails plan, including expansion and improvement of all types of recreational trails, will host a one-day workshop October 19 in Lawrence.
The event – Kansas Trails Summit: Vision, Planning and Building – is scheduled for the Lawrence Holidome and sponsored by the Kansas Recreation and Park Association (Park and Natural Resource Branch) in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and other state recreational trail groups.
The event is designed for land managers, designers, trail builders and maintainers, trail advocates and community decision-makers and embraces all users: walkers/hikers, cyclists, equestrians, canoe and kayakers, off-road motorized vehicle riders and those with disabilities.
The workshop schedule will include 14 sessions covering three tracks of educational opportunities – (1) Vision, (2) Planning along with (3) Building and Maintenance. There will be special presentations on rail-trail and urban trail development plus a session on seeking grants and outside funding opportunities.
Sid Stevenson, professor in the division of recreational services at Kansas State University, will lead focus group discussions designed to develop a comprehensive state trails plan for Kansas. An off-site equipment demonstration is also scheduled as part of the activities.
Registration will be $25 per person and include lunch. Information on how to register for the Kansas Trails Summit, along with session descriptions, will be available in the near future.
Among other groups or organizations involved in the planning and presentation of the Kansas Trails Summit are the Kansas Trails Council, Kansas Whitewater Association, Kansas Department of Transportation, Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, Kansas Department of Commerce (Div. of Tourism) and Kansas Horse Council along with Lawrence Parks and Recreation, Topeka Parks And Recreation and Johnson Country Parks and Recreation District.
TRAILS NEWS; June 15, 2007
THE GREAT SANTA FE TRAIL HORSE RACE. The Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race, scheduled for Sept. 1 through Sept. 15, will be an 800-mile endurance ride from Santa Fe, NM to Independence, MO. One of the main objectives of the race is to educate the public on the significance of the great Santa Fe National Historic Trail. One hundred teams will participate in this race. It should be noted that a section of the Flint Hills Nature Trail from Herington to Pomona Lake follows the general route of the Santa Fe Trail. For more information, consult their web site.
KANSAS! MAGAZINE FEATURES PRAIRIE SPIRIT TRAIL. The Prairie Spirit Express published by the Friends of the Prairie Spirit Trail reports that the summer issue of Kansas! Magazine has an article on biking in Kansas and the Prairie Spirit Trail. This long-distance rail-trail stretches 52 miles from Ottawa to Iola. By the end of the summer, the final leg of the trail, from Welda to Iola, will be completed with an official opening in September. Pick up a copy of Kansas! Magazine and check out the articles on biking in Kansas and the Prairie Spirit Trail.
TAXATION OF RAIL-TRAILS IN KANSAS. Under the Kansas Constitution easements and rights-of-way are not subject to real estate taxes. Since railbanked rail corridors are composed of rights-of-way and easements, railbanked rail-trails are exempt from real estate taxes. In fact the Board of Tax Appeals (BOTA) has already ruled that three rail-trails are exempt. However, the Property Valuation Division has yet to make a blanket ruling for all railbanked rail-trails. So, a blanket ruling may take an appellate court decision.
CHASE COUNTY COMMUNITY CONNECTION TRAIL. Members of Sunflower Recreational Trails recently checked out the new Chase County Community Connection Trail which stretches about one mile between Cottonwood Falls and Strong City. The ten-foot-wide concrete path mostly traverses the Cottonwood River flood plain. Eventually the path will be extended to the eastern section of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve just north of Strong City.
Kansas Trails News, June 18, 2007
GRAND OPEN HIKE ‘N’ BIKE JUNE 30. The following is excerpted from the electronic LyCo News Telegraph (June 2007):
Join the fun at the Allen trailhead for a Hike ‘n’ Bike on June 30th to celebrate the completion of the 5 1/2-mile trail from Allen to Bushong! Official festivities will begin at 10:00 a.m. and run until Noon.
Map displays and trail information will be available. Here’s a sampling of what we have planned:
Giveaways from High Gear Cyclery. Meet members of the ESU Multi-Sport Club. Bike safety from Newman Regional Health.
Allen is located north of Emporia on US 56. The trail segment is part of the 117-mile Flint Hills Nature Trail. The new trail surface is crushed limestone which is suitable for both touring bicycles and mountain bicycles.
BURROUGHS CREEK TRAIL UPDATE. A site plan for the Burroughs Creek Corridor Park & Trail project in eastern Lawrence will soon be submitted to the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Office. This plan describes the community’s vision for a linear park and trail system running through the neighborhood. The site plan details the overall master plan elements for this area, including street crossings, trail connections, trailheads, historic signage, park amenities, pedestrian bridge crossings and other elements. An upcoming public meeting and presentation will be held on Monday, July 9th from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the Lawrence Visitor’s Center. Construction is currently pending per the approval of additional funding.
Trail News, July 11, 2007
Floods Damage Rail-Trails. Recently flooding in southeast Kansas has damaged sections of the Flint Hills Nature Trail and the Prairie Spirit Trail. Minor washouts and downed timber were discovered west of Osawatomie on the FHNT but the downed trees have already been removed and the washouts will be restored soon. At Ottawa the trail suffered a long washout of the original railroad rock ballast and a panel on a bridge was damaged. The Prairie Spirit Trail suffered substantial damage with huge washouts including any remaining ballast and a 200-foot-long bridge over Pottawatomie Creek was destroyed. Plus there are many large erosion gullies along the rail-trail treadway.
Burroughs Creek Trail Master Plan Nearing Approval. A final public presentation was held July 9 in Lawrence on the Burroughs Creek Trail Master Plan. The 1.7-mile rail-trail will stretch from 11th Street to 23rd Street in eastern Lawrence along the former BNSF rail corridor. It will connect with the Haskell Rail-Trail at 23rd St. on and new plans now call for extending the Haskell Rail-Trail south two blocks to 31st Street.
An engineer and landscape architect with Bartlett & West Engineers presented the semi-final plan and solicited public comment. Once the plan is finalized and approved by the Lawrence City Commission, acquisition of the corridor will start. However, funding for actual trail construction has yet to be found and due to budget constraints, the trail will be built in several phases. Federal Transportation Enhancement funds may be sought but apparently KDOT has slashed available TE funds by $4 million. This is in contrast to Missouri where funding levels were maintained because of the power of the bicyclist lobby. So, far KDOT totally eliminated funding for two years this decade.
Several side trails to neighborhoods are planned plus 50 feet of original railroad tracks will be retained and possibly an old, semi-abandoned caboose now in the BNSF yard will be place on the tracks. Long-range plans also include establishing an Heirloom Garden, Labyrinth, and Spray Play Area at the main trailhead at 15th Street. Also, trail wheels (similar to traffic calming circles) will be established near street crossings to slow down trail users prior to crossing the streets. Plans by ECO2 call for extending the Haskell Trail-Trail south to the Wakarusa River and the Burroughs Creek Trail north to the 11-mile levee trail on the north side of the Kaw River. It would then be renamed the Two Rivers or River to River Trail.
Footpath Around Great Britain Underway. The British Government has announced plans to build a footpath around the entire 9,040 miles of coastline. Officials with Natural England will negotiate with landowners to secure coastal access rights. Below are excerpts from “Coastline Access Plan Unveiled” published in the Guardian (June 19, 2007)
Environment Secretary David Miliband said, “The success of the ‘right to roam’ on open countryside has shown that people are responsible about increased access and want to enjoy it in a mature way. That greatly encourages us to press ahead with opening up the coast.”
Scotland has a well-established corridor, which has been used as a model for the new scheme, 30 percent of England’s 2,500 miles of coast is still private….Establishing a complete path around the shoreline is expected to cost £50 million and take ten years to build
Kansas Trail News, August 9, 2007
New Trails at DeVictor Park in Lawrence. There are two new recreational trails at the new DeVictor Park located across from Langston Hughes School on George Williams Way in West Lawrence.
The trails are not complete but of interest to the public. One section is concrete and goes through a fairly scenic area, including through a narrow valley along side a strip of native prairie. Another longer section is crushed limestone and goes primarily behind new houses. A few householders have encroached upon the trail right-of-way. Plus, curb cuts still need to be installed where it crosses streets and the treadway itself is uneven and lumpy making for a bumpy bike ride but satisfactory walk. Once these problems are taken care of, the trails should be another community asset.
Landon Trail Construction Starts. Construction has started on the Landon Trail within the city limits of Topeka. It has been exactly 20 years ago this year that Larry Ross of Wichita, Marc Coan Of Taos, NM and Clark Coan of Lawrence first started working on the Landon Trail Project. Clearly this shows that persistence and patience eventually pays off.
If the City’s 4.8-mile section is completed by the end of the year, trail users will be able to go all the way from the Brown v. Board of Education Nat’l Hist Site (17th & Monroe Sts.) to the village of Berryton and beyond (possibly to the Clinton Wildlife Area). The Landon Trail Division of the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy is building the trail from the Topeka city limits southeast toward the Clinton Wildlife Area.
The contractor is Joe Conroy and earth moving is underway. According to previous plans much of the trail in the city limits will be concrete and part will be crushed limestone.
Bikes Collide, Killing One. A collision between two bicyclists on the new Lake Shawnee Trail in Topeka left one dead and one severely injured. Apparently, the bicyclists, who were both in their 50s, were riding down a steep, six-foot-wide incline when they collided and then the woman bicyclist hit her head on the concrete. Neither bicyclist was wearing a helmet. A fatality due to two bicyclists colliding is fairly rare.
Trail News, 14 September 2007
PRAIRIE SPIRIT TRAIL NEARS COMPLETION. The last section (Welda-Iola) of the Prairie Spirit Trail is nearing completion and should be open for trail users this month. Once the Welda-Iola segment and the Iola section are open, this rail-trail will stretch 52 miles from Ottawa to Iola. This is the first long-distance rail-trail in Kansas to be completely finished. It should be noted that due to flooding, a bridge just north of Garnett needs to be replaced, so this requires a detour on gravel roads. A Grand Opening ceremony will be held in 2008.
LANDON TRAIL CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES. Construction is continuing in Topeka on the scenic Landon Nature Trail. Concrete is currently being poured from the northern terminus at the Brown v. Board of Education Nat’l Historic Site (east of 17th & Kansas Ave.) to about 26th Street. Construction of the rest of the trail in the city limits will have to wait until funding is made available. The City of Topeka leases this 4.6-mile segment from Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, Inc. KRTC continues to build the Landon Trail from the Topeka city limits at Sanneman Drive southeast to the Clinton Wildlife Area. The Landon Trail stretches 38 miles from Topeka to west of the town of Pomona where it links up with Flint Hills Nature Trail now under development.
CITY APPROVES MASTERPLAN FOR BURROUGHS CREEK TRAIL. The Lawrence City Commission has approved the Masterplan for the Burroughs Creek Trail which follows the old BNSF right-of-way in eastern Lawrence just west of Haskell Ave. Now the City’s utility department will commence acquisition of the corridor (there is a sewer route). Actual trail development will have to wait until funding is available. The Burroughs Creek Trail will link up with the Haskell Rail-Trail and ultimately the two trails become the five-mile Two Rivers Trail which will stretch between the Wakarusa and Kansas Rivers.
SUNFLOWER SANTA FE TRAIL. The Central Kansas Conservancy, Inc. is planning to construct a 1.25-mile segment of the Sunflower Santa Fe Trail in Marion. Upon completion, the City of Marion will maintain the trail section. This will be the first section of the trail to be opened.
KANSAS TRAILS SUMMIT REGISTRATION. All trail enthusiasts are urged to attend the Kansas Trails Summit to be held Oct. 18-19 in Lawrence. This is a great opportunity to network with other trail advocates and to obtain valuable information on trails in Kansas. Why reinvent the wheel? Be there or be square. Contact Kansas Recreatiion & Parks Association.
YELLOW BRICK ROAD RIDE. The Yellow Brick Road Ride will be held on Saturday October 6 in and around Wamego. Net proceeds will go for the WAM-SAG-MAN Trail which will stretch 16 miles between Wamego and Manhattan. There are 15-mile, 28-mile and 50.5-mile rides. For more information go to their web site.
WALNUT VALLEY METRIC RIDE. The Walnut Valley Metric Ride will be held on Sept. 30 in and around Winfield. It is sponsored by Prairie Travelers, Inc. in conjunction with the Oz Bicycle Club. There will be 35 and 65 mile rides. Registration starts at the Winfield Recreation Center at 8:00 am. PTI is building the Prairie Sunset Trail which will stretch west from Wichita to Garden Plain. Questions? E-mail.
Trail News, 28 September 2007
RAIL-TRAILS IN AMERICA. According to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Trail-O-Meter, there are now more than 13,500 miles of rail-trails open for public use. Rail-trails are perfect for walking, biking, horseback riding, and running because they are wide, level and have gentle grades. To find one near you, check out the web site.
COUNCIL GROVE TRAIL CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY.
Construction is underway on a 3.5-mile segment of the 116-mile Flint Hills Nature Trail (FHNT) from historic Council Grove to the Kaw Heritage Park. Crushed limestone is being applied to the original rock ballast surface of the old railroad bed. It will then be graded and rolled into a compacted, smooth surface perfect for touring bicycles and wheelchairs. Bridges were completed earlier in the decade. It should be mentioned that the Kaw Heritage Park has a network of walking trails plus the Monument to the Unknown Indian, the Kaw Agency building and stone hut ruins where Kaw Indians briefly lived. A visitor’s center is planned for the park.
OSAGE CITY TRAIL UPDATE. Osage City officials report that construction will start in January on the trail section of the FHNT they will be leasing from the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, Inc. The two-mile concrete pathway will enable Osage City residents to travel east and west through town while avoiding heavy traffic on US 56, with easy access to downtown on a connecting pathway. The City has received a federal Transportation Enhancement grant from KDOT to build the path.
PRAIRIE SPIRIT TRAIL OPENING RESCHEDULED. Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks officials report that the Welda-Iola section of the 52-mile Prairie Spirit Trail will not open until sometime after October 31. It is unclear why the opening has been delayed. Originally it was to be opened in either September or October. When opened, the Prairie Spirit Trail will be the longest fully developed rail-trail in Kansas.
SMART TRAIL FUNDING IN JEOPARDY. A federal funding shortfall may jeopardize a proposed allocation of $400,000 for the 17-mile Smart Trail being constructed between Lawrence and Olathe. According to the Lawrence Journal-World (9-26-07), Kansas may lose up to $150 million because of a sharp drop in sales tax revenues from heavy truck sales that are funneled into the federal highway fund. KDOT officials have identified projects that will be put on hold if the funding is withheld. The trail is being built in phases as funding becomes available. Eventually it will link the Cedar Creek Trail in Olathe with Lawrence’s SLT Hike and Bike Path.
KANSAS TRAILS SUMMIT REGISTRATION. Registration forms for the Kansas Trails Summit are flowing into the offices of the Kansas Recreation and Parks Association. At this point it looks like there will be well over 100 attendees. The Summit will be held in Lawrence October 18-19. Download a brochure with a registration form.
Trail News, 21 October 2007
TRAILS SUMMIT A SUCCESS. The Kansas Built Environment and Trails Summit held in Lawrence Oct. 18-19 was an outstanding success according to many participants. Nearly 150 trails enthusiasts registered for the Trails Summit portion held on the second day. Sid Stevenson, a Kansas State University professor, stated that one result of the conference could be a coalition of user groups which can push for more trails. He also mentioned that there are 670 trails in Kansas he has identified. Conference attendees learned about (a) trails success stories; (b) trail construction and maintenance; (c) rails-to-trails; (d) urban trail building; (e) water trails planning; (f) trail equipment; (g) and fundraising. It was an excellent opportunity to network and see what others are doing in developing trails in the Sunflower State. Kudos go to Kansas Recreation and Parks Association Executive Director Doug Vance, Prof. Sid Stevenson, State Parks Director Jerry Hover and many others for their hard work in putting on this conference.
RECFINDER FOR TRAILS. At the conference Sid Stevenson revealed his new database of 670 trails in the Sunflower State. Kansas has a wide variety of trails including single-track hiking trails; single-track hiking trails; nature trails; rail-trails; multi-use paths; equestrian trails; and water trails. To access this database go to the Kansas Trails Council website and click on their links section. Then scroll down to Kansas Recreational Trails Finder. A national database of recreational trails is also available online.
EL DORADO BIKE TRAIL. One of the success stories presented at the Trails Summit was the El Dorado Bike Trail. This recreational pathway was partly constructed on an abandoned Union Pacific rail right-of-way and stretches four miles from East Park to El Dorado Lake and State Park. The concrete pathway goes through two tunnels, one of which goes under a BNSF overpass. The scenic trail crosses the picturesque Walnut River and was constructed in two phases, the first of which was completed in 1999.
UPDATE ON LANDON TRAIL IN TOPEKA. Construction continues on the Landon Trail within the Topeka city limits. A 10-foot-wide concrete path is being built from near 17th & Monroe to 25th St. The City of Topeka is applying for a federal Transportation Enhancement grant to extend the recreational pathway to 37th Street. However, Congress and KDOT have slashed TE funding for Kansas by 61 percent, so competition for these limited funds is now very high. The City leases 4.65 miles of the 38-mile Landon Trail from Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy.
TRAIL WALK A SUCCESS. Over 40 trail users walked, biked or rode horses on the Osawatomie section of the 116-mile Flint Hills Nature Trail on October 6. Experience shows that once people get out onto a trail and enjoy recreating and viewing nature, they often volunteer to work on trails and push for more trails. A recent article with photos and a trail map in the Osawatomie newspaper has generated mostly positive publicity for the trail. In addition, in November an award-winning chapter of Future Farmers of America will work on the trail west of Rantoul. Finally, the Osawatomie Division of the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy is planning to complete the trail between Rantoul and Osawatomie by late March.
TRAILS NEWS – 1 November 2007
KANZA RAIL-TRAILS CONSERVANCY ANNUAL MEETING. KRTC will be holding its annual meeting on Saturday Nov. 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Berryton (southeast of Topeka). There will be lunch and entertainment, a short business meeting followed by a chance to walk on the Landon Trail. The event will be held at Creekside at Berryton (formerly Berryton Square) located at 7151 SE Berryton Road. If you have not joined, you can pay $10 at the door. Lunch is $8 for adults and $4 for children (RSVP is required for lunch). Send name plus check to KRTC, POB 3863, Topeka, KS 66604-6863 and indicate whether you want the chicken or beef entrée. Be there or be square (Berryton Square).
NATIONAL RECREATIONAL TRAILS FUNDS ALLOCATED. KDWP has allocated the FY 2008 federal funds for Kansas from the National Recreational Trails Fund. A total of $1.25 million was allocated. Projects include: (1) $60,000 for the Overbrook Lake Trail Phase II Project which will complete the trail around the city lake and include ADA parking and a restroom; (2) $100,000 for the Stone Creek Park Trail Project in Derby. The trail will be built around a fishing pond and playgrounds and includes a spillway pedestrian bridge with handicapped access to playgrounds; and, (3) $40,000 for the NE Loop Trail Project in Hutchinson which adds 10,000 linear feet to an existing trail system.
Kansas Trail News, 23 November 2007
TRAIL RUNNING A POPULAR SPORT. A new sport has taken off in recent years: trail running. According to a recent article in the Lawrence Journal-World (11-02-07), an estimated 6.7 million people run primarily on hiking and mountain biking trails. Although trail runners have to watch out for rocks, roots, branches and logs, the uneven earth-packed surface is better for knees and joints than flat concrete or asphalt surfaces. There are several hundred trail runners in the Kansas City area and some have formed a group called Kansas City Trail Nerds (for more information see: Bad Ben’s Trail Running Site.)
SUNFLOWER RECREATIONAL TRAILS ANNUAL MEETING. The Annual Meeting of Sunflower Recreational Trails will be held on Saturday December 1 in Council Grove, an historic landmark on the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. All trail enthusiasts are encouraged to attend (nonmembers can join by paying $10 membership dues at the door). The meeting will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Hays House, the oldest restaurant west of the Mississippi River in continuous operation. Directors will be elected by the membership following a presentation by President Ross describing the Year in Review. The annual meeting will be followed by a Board of Directors meeting at which all members may attend. Following this meeting there will be a field trip to the Kaw Heritage Park and a segment of Flint Hills Nature Trail which has recently been completed.
COUNCIL GROVE TRAIL SEGMENT T0 OPEN. A trail surface composed of limestone screenings suitable for road bikes and wheelchairs should be installed by the first of the year on the Flint Hills Nature Trail between Council Grove and the Kaw Heritage Park. At the park there is a trail loop around the base of the tallgrass prairie-covered hill with the Monument to the Unknown Indian on top and along a riverbank with the original stone hut ruins built for the Kaw Indians. A replica Kaw Indian lodge has been built by the tribe and is now open to the public. It should be noted that an estimated 75-80% of the 805 burr oak trees planted along the Flint Hills Trail in memory of the 805 original Kaw families has survived.
KANSAS RAIL CORRIDORS RELEASED. The American Trails Association, a fictitious entity created by A & K Salvage from Salt Lake City, has decided to release several rail corridors in Kansas it had railbanked previously. According to a Chicago railroad attorney, the lines now revert to K & O Railroad (WATCO) out of Pittsburg, Kans. Four lines are of interest to Kansas trails advocates: (1) Iola-Humbolt (6.5 miles); (2) Wellington-Oxford (9.2 miles); (3) Chanute-Fredonia (23.6 miles); and Protection-Englewood (30.3 miles). The first line would make for an extension of the recently-completed 52-mile Prairie Spirit Trail and the last line would extend the 30-mile Short Grass Prairie Trail north and east toward Pratt. Sunflower Recreational Trails is currently exploring assuming railbanking custodianship and later transferring the corridors to other entities.
LANDON NATURE TRAIL VANDALISM. As reported in the Topeka Capital-Journal (10-26-07), there have been 41 cases of theft and vandalism along the Landon Nature Trail in Shawnee County since the beginning of 2007. Nails have been hidden in leaves to harm horses and hikers and signs have been defaced and stolen. It is thought that trail opponents are behind much of the vandalism. Crime Stoppers has issued a cash reward for information leading to the apprehension of the perpetrators. Despite the vandalism, the Landon Trail Division of the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy (KRTC) continues to work on the trail southeast of Berryton.
HEALTH OF KANSANS DECLINES. The health of Kansas has declined markedly in just one year with the Sunflower State dropping from 16th to 23rd in the ranking of states. A study by the United Health Foundation found that the percentage of the population that smokes increased 9 percent to 20% since 2006 and the percentage of the population that is obese rose 8 percent to 25% of the population. That is why it is important to develop trails close to where people live so they exercise for health. Physicians recommend that patients walk (or bike) briskly at least three times each week for 30+ minutes.
ECONOMICS OF RAIL-TRAILS. A 2006 study by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy of the 62-mile Pine Creek Trail in Pennsylvania found that the trail generates nearly $5.5 million annually for the local economy. The rail-trail follows a river in the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania. It was found that trail users buy food, gasoline and lodging. For more information see: Biking Bis: Build it and they will come and spend; Pennsylvania’s Pine Creek Rail Trail. An informal survey of trail users by the Landon Trail Division of KRTC has found that of the 200 questionnaires received, trail users spent an average of $10-$11 daily.
Kansas Trails News, December 19, 2007
Katy Trail Extension Agreement Approved. The Missouri Attorney General has entered into an agreement with Ameren Corp. to allow a trail to be built along a little-used 46-mile Rock Island line between Windsor and Pleasant Hill, Missouri to extend the KATY Trail into the Kansas City area. The agreement calls for Amergen to give the State of Missouri $18 million to undertake this rails-with-trails project but that won’t be sufficient as culverts will have to be installed and bridges constructed. A judge has to give final approval of the settlement. Once the extension is completed, the KATY Trail will be 282 miles long and almost link Saint Louis and Kansas City. The next step is for the Union Pacific to allow a trail to be built within a little-used UP corridor from Pleasant Hill to Leeds District in Kansas City. Once the KATY Trail is extended into Kansas City, it can link up with the MetroGreen trail network. The agreement was made possible by sustained and effective lobbying by members and leaders of the Missouri Bicycle Federation.
Prairie Spirit Trail Extension Opening Delayed. According to Trent McCown, manager of the Prairie Spirit Trail (The Prairie Spirit Express, Dec. 2007), it now looks like it will be well into spring before the Welda-Iola section of the Prairie Spirit Trail will be open to the public. Soil abnormalities were not identified during the engineering process and this allowed cracks to develop in the asphalt surface within the city of Iola. The trail surface will be inspected in early March and repairs made as soon as the weather allows. Then the trail will be opened to the public.