Friends of the Newton Blackmour Trail had their bi-monthly meeting at the Library/Museum meeting room in New London Oct. 13.
Benches to be installed along the completed trail that runs from Oneida to Black Creek will be built by Seymour student Andrew Tilkens. He will make the log benches with donated materials.
President Nancy Raabe walked the trail with Tilkens to mark where 6 – 8 benches could be placed. Tilkens is working on an Eagle Scout designation in Boy Scouting. If anyone would like to assist with bench building materials, call 920-882-8173.
The board decided to purchase four identical Trail Head signs, one for each of the communities the trail runs through. Businesses or individuals in each of the communities could donate to the trail head signs, anywhere from $25 to the total cost of $300.
Guest Speaker Chad Hoerth, director of New London Park and Rec, gave a Power Point presentation on the progress of the one mile piece of trail coming into New London that will eventually connect with the trail.
This presentation was integral in the meeting the city held July 22 that included representatives from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Water Management, Department of Transportation (DOT) Pedestrian Trails, Outagamie Parks and Waupaca Parks, Northport Snowmobile Club, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Outagamie County Planning Department and Fox Cities Greenways.
Hoerth explained aerial view segments of the trail, showing the abandoned rail bed and current tracks that run into town from Hwy 54, through DNR and DOT land, winding up at River Road on the city’s north side.
The city wants to retain the rail line and spur that runs to and behind Wolf River lumber, to utilize it in the future, should a company build next to Wolf River Lumber. From there, the trail will follow the old river road that ran to the old St. John’s Bridge near Pfeifer Park. A foot bridge will be constructed over the Embarrass River at its narrowest point to allow trail users access to the city.
Hoerth and City Administrator Kent Hager will be working together to find grants or ways to secure the funding needed to design the last mile of trail.
The Friends of the Trail have discussed in previous meetings that state legislators should be notified of the need and asked to support funding of the trail to see its completion in a timely manner. They could use help in writing letters.
The Newton-Blackmour State Trail allows all non-motorized vehicles and horses in the summer months, and snowmobilers in the winter months. Kimberly Rohm of Seymour took that into consideration when designing a logo for the Friends of the Trail. Rohm was awarded a $100 prize and a certificate of appreciation from the Friends.
In new business, President Nancy Raabe said the club could use a communications volunteer to send out press releases, meeting announcements, make flyers or posters, etc.
The next meeting of the Friends of the Newton Blackmour Trail will be in January at the Black Creek library meeting room. A treasurer and one board member will need to be selected. Interested members of the four communities should attend the meeting that starts at 6:30 p.m. and lasts an hour.