Students from Chris Luther’s Lifetime Wellness class walk on Plum Creek trail for a class period on February 16. Photo by Carolina VonKampen.
by Jordan McCoy
The Seward Parks and Recreation Department plans to extend the Plum Creek trail to a complete loop around the city by 2019.
Since its establishment in 2001, Concordia students and locals alike have taken advantage of the Plum Creek Trail as an opportunity to be outside, breathe in the fresh air and get some exercise by running, walking, biking, rollerblading and skateboarding on the trail.
The trail currently reaches roughly 2.5 miles from the water treatment plant on the south side of town to the Plum Creek Sports Complex on the north side, 5 miles long if you were to go out and back. The Seward Parks and Recreation Department wants to extend the trail so that it will form a full circle totaling 5.2 miles in its entirety.
Facilities Director of Seward John Hughes said the finished trail will connect at various scenic points around town, such as Concordia, city parks, the Seward Dowding Pool, the fairgrounds and the ballpark.
“The trail system thus far has been a huge success story,” Hughes said. “There will be lots of usage, and it will be a great destination feature when the trail is complete.”
The trail extension is a federally funded project administered by the Nebraska Department of Roads. This project is what the Department of Parks and Recreation calls an 80-20 project, meaning that the federal government will pay for 80 percent of the cost and the city of Seward will pay for the remaining 20 percent. The land used for this project is either donated or purchased.
Upon the completion of the project, the department anticipates that the trail will be a big hit to many different groups of people. From the cross-country runners to the avid bike riders to the grandparents who just appreciate a good walk, people of all ages will have the opportunity to enjoy this new addition to Seward.
“Trails create healthy recreation and transportation opportunities to the entire Seward community. The trail expansion project can help students incorporate more physical activity into their lives to improve fitness and mental health,” said Concordia Associate Professor of Health and Human Performance Dr. Jennifer Janousek.
Below is a map of the planned project. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 and be completed by the end of that year.