By Sarah Wright
Syracuse-Wawasee Trails welcomed a special guest, State Rep. Curt Nisly, to its meeting Monday, Aug. 17, where updates were given on projects and the Conklin Bay ribbon cutting was recapped.
The trails’ website is undergoing a redesign. Erlene Yentes shared there is now a page dedicated to the Conklin Bay Boardwalk, relaying its history, the names of donors who supported the project, where to park in addition to two videos featuring its ribbon cutting and a one-minute walkthrough. Pictures will be uploading shortly. Press releases and articles about Conklin Bay are also available.
For the strategic plan, Yentes received information from USI Consultants in regard to the completion of a feasibility study, which would be broken into three sections — firstly, a trail around Lake Wawasee; secondly, a route to Wawasee Middle School; and thirdly, a path from Kern Road to Harkless Drive. The estimated cost of the study would be $100,000. Yentes said she had submitted a grant application Aug. 1 for the study.
Tied with the strategic plan are discussions about placing a sidewalk from Syracuse-Webster Road down Chicago Street to SR 13, where Lakeland Youth Center is located in order to provide a safer route for students. It would feature a crosswalk similar to the one at SR 13 and Pickwick.
It was noted the trailhead by Polywood will need moved following the company’s expansion and purchase of the Harold Schrock Athletic Complex. “The Scout lodge said we could store it there,” Yentes said.
Maintenance was discussed as well, including the cutting of cattails under the Conklin Bay Boardwalk to hopefully curb future growth and the replacement of 40 to 45 boards in the boardwalk around Mud Lake.
Board members voted to move the Syracuse-Wawasee Trails office to 207 N. Huntington St., a space it will share with the Syracuse-Wawasee Chamber of Commerce. The new location will provide increased visibility for the trails.
As for the ribbon cutting, approximately 100 individuals attended it Thursday, July 30. Board members agreed it’d been a success, with board member Kay Young noting she’s only heard positive responses about the event.
Top-tier donors and donors who had sent their regrets about being unable to attend received a ribbon cutting program and a personalized note card from Yentes. The note card featured a scene along the Conklin Bay Boardwalk on its front. One donor recommended the trails sell similar blank note cards as a fundraiser, a suggestion board members are exploring.
“It took all of us to make that event successful,” Yentes said of the ribbon cutting, and as for donors, she added, “They were impressed to see what their contributions went toward.”
In other news:
- Syracuse-Wawasee Trails is seeking volunteers to aid with trail counts, particularly on the Conklin Bay Boardwalk. Interested parties can reach out to Yentes at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at (574) 675-6433.
- Syracuse-Wawasee Trails’ car show will occur alongside the chamber’s Last Friday event from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 28. There will be a People’s Choice Award with the winner receiving a Sleepy Owl gift card.
- Trails and Tails is slated for Oct. 24.
Next trails meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21.