Marr Park trail continues to expand
AINSWORTH — Since its opening last summer, the trail between Marr Park and Ainsworth has been a success, conservation director Steve Anderson reports. Now, the Washington County Trail Committee plans to make some additions to the trail.
Anderson said that a project that would extend the trail into the Marr Park campground is moving ahead. He said there is a bid in place and a contractor lined up to do the work. He said that the work would begin before July 1. He said the project is funded through another donation. The project is expected to cost $17,856 and will extend the trail about 500 feet off the Kaufman Trail to the campground.
“The whole idea is a lot of campers have younger members who would like to use the trail and we are trying to get them there in as safe of a manner as possible,” Anderson said.
Another plan to include some additions to the Kaufman Trail is also being planned. Anderson said that while the plan to improve the trail has not been officially approved, nor is it ready to be revealed to the public, he promises when it is released it will be exciting.
“It has a number of amazing things that the committee has come up with together on,” he said. “From things you would expect like trees and other things on the land to some really cool architectural items to some functioning items, it will be good.”
He said the committee is in the final drafting phase and, once done, a public campaign to inform the community of the coming changes would begin.
Anderson said the goal of the trail was to improve the area around the trail. He said that Washington County Conservation had received an Iowa Visioning Grant to help improve the trail. He said that the committee has asked anyone who wanted to participate in the improvement of the trail to give input. The project is being based on all the suggestions of improvements. He said resting structures and plants are included in the plan.
“We asked what would be exciting for people and what would get people driving down the road to notice it and want to stop,” Anderson said.
A grand opening for the $350,000 project that ran a trail from the conservation education center, around Thomas Marr Lake and through the park to Ainsworth was held June 28 in conjunction with the opening of a $150,000 project to increase the number of campsites from 27 to 42. Anderson said that funding for the trail and the improvements to the campground were done with money from various grants. He said no property tax money was used in the projects.