Wednesday, January 1, 2014
By Brian McCauley
It was a busy year for Paola Pathways, as new trails were constructed in Wallace Park and along Hedge Lane. Paola officials announced in the summer that the city received a matching grant from the Sunflower Foundation that will allow for the construction of a trails system at Wallace Park. The grant, along with local donations collected by Paola Pathways members, was enough to fund the first phase — 3.5 miles of trails through wooded areas in Wallace Park.
After clearing and burning brush in multiple areas, Paola Public Works crew members began constructing the trail in October using limestone screenings. The screenings were poured onto the path and then packed and smoothed out to create a flat, hard surface for the trail.
The new trail gives residents the ability to explore parts of the park that were previously unreachable. One part of the trail hugs the bank of Bull Creek, providing a picturesque view of the bubbling brook.
Although Wallace Park is the focus, Paola Pathways is also looking to create other pedestrian routes in Paola. Paola Pathways funding, along with funds from Paola USD 368 and Lighthouse Presbyterian Church, was used to install an 8-foot wide asphalt sidewalk along Hedge Lane from Panther Drive to Industrial Park Drive. The sidewalk fulfills Paola Pathways’ plan of creating a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists to get to Lake Miola.