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Archive for Tuesday, November 19, 2013

City agrees to accept donation for central Lawrence nature park

November 19, 2013

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A new park is coming to central Lawrence, and it likely will become a key intersecting point for a large citywide trail system.

Now, city leaders just have to figure out when it all will happen.

City commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting preliminarily agreed to accept a donation of about 8 acres of property that includes a large pond and hardwood forest on the former site of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in the Pinckney neighborhood. But work on the park won't begin until grant funding is secured, which would be next year at the soonest.

Commissioners also agreed to name the park the Sandra J. Shaw Community Health Park. Shaw, who died in 2010, was the longtime CEO of the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center. The Bert Nash center owns the property and is making the donation to the city.

"This piece of property just has multiple levels of potential for the city," City Commissioner Bob Schumm said.

The first phase calls for a fully accessible, concrete trail to be built around a large portion of the pond. The private group Outside for a Better Inside is seeking a grant and private donations for the approximately $100,000 project.

But Schumm said he also can envision the property becoming an intersecting point for a trail system that someday will traverse the city. City leaders long have had an interest in having a loop of trails circle the city.

"This piece of property could be really helpful because it is in the vicinity of several possible connecting links," Schumm said.

In other news, commissioners:

• Approved an agreement that will allow for additional underground collection equipment related to a 2006 gasoline spill in the Old West Lawrence neighborhood. The equipment will be in the 800 block of Ohio Street and will be paid for through a state environmental trust fund.

• Approved no parking on a portion Jana Drive where it intersects with Rogers Place. The steep nature of a hill in the area and a tight corner convinced commissioners that a parking restriction was warranted.

Comments

Clark Coan 4 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm not keen on naming parks, trails and buildings after people. After 50 years no one remembers who they were, plus it doesn't "brand" the facility. I mean once the Burroughs Creek/Haskell Rail-Trail is extended to the Kansas River and Wakarusa River, it should be renamed the Two Rivers or River to River Trail. The name provides a descriptive of what one will encounter and entices people to use it. Currently, the name of the park at north Folks Road and Peterson Rd. is Lawrence Nature Park. How boring is that?

I am also leery of the proposal to build a paved concrete trail from the new park to Constant Park at 6th and Kentucky. Currently, the treadway is packed earth and wood chips and makes for a more natural experience. Concrete would destroy this.

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