Syracuse-Wawasee Trails Committee received a $150,000 donation from the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation. This donation will be put toward the construction of the boardwalk and trail connecting Syracuse and the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation.
Many years ago, the Lilly family was instrumental in getting Syracuse on the right path with trails. A section of trail was constructed along Eli Lilly Road. The Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation continues this tradition with a generous gift toward the Conklin Bay boardwalk and trail.
The Conklin Bay boardwalk will safely connect people to the WACF. Trail users will be able to access the Levinson-LaBrosse Lakes and Wetlands Education Center and three miles of natural surface trails. These trails feature stunning views of wetlands, wooded areas, and the lakeshore. People living on the south shore of Lake Wawasee will be able to travel along quiet streets to the boardwalk and then on to the existing 11 miles of trail in Syracuse and around Syracuse Lake.
Ginny Lilly Nicholas expressed, “The trails are a safe and lovely addition to our area and (the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation is) pleased to be able to help build them.”
The preliminary cost estimate for this one-mile section is $1.7 million. This includes construction, oversight and a maintenance fund.
So far, the trails committee has raised more than $630,000 through generous donations from the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation, as well as the Miller Family Foundation, the Harkless Foundation, Wawasee Property Owners Association, the Dekko Foundation, the Laudeman Family Charitable Fund, and The Papers Inc., as well as many smaller, individual donations.
There is still an opportunity to have an individual or business donation, that is matched by the Dekko Foundation. This dollar-for-dollar match will end this summer.
To donate to this or any project on the Syracuse-Wawasee trails, donations can be mailed to the Syracuse Community Center. Also, people may donate online through the trail’s secure website, syracusewawaseetrails.com, to sign up for their quarterly newsletter. To keep up to date on all the latest trail happenings “like” them on Facebook.
The trail committee is part of the Syracuse-Wawasee Park Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation. The committee is a volunteer advisory group helping coordinate the planning, construction and maintenance of local trails located on city and county property.