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Planning begins for trail project

Dickinson is a great place to take a walk. From hill-top vantage points to a lake it has everything a recreational walker could want, except for a paved trail system.

Vicky Steiner made a formal proposal for a recreational trail system near Patterson Lake at the July meeting of the Manufacturer's Roundtable held at St. Joseph's Hospital.

"The short path we have around the West River Community Center is good but a bigger one out in the country would be nice," Steiner said.

"There is a loud cry from young people in our community asking for 'more to do.' I think this project along with the Western Edge Pool Committee's outdoor pool plans would be great assets to our community," Steiner said.

"The trails give residents more options for outdoor activities. The trail system would make going rollerblading, biking or walking after work or school much easier because there would be a designated area for it," said Dave Lehman, Manufacturing Engineering Extension Specialist at the Dickinson Research Extension Center.

Steiner compiled a Power Point presentation of trail systems in other cities, where she proposed Dickinson build one, and research she had done about the impact trail systems have had on other communities.

James Kramer, director of Dickinson Parks and Recreation said the City of Dickinson and Parks and Recreation, had a trail system planned about ten years ago. At that time there was a committee that had discussed building a trail, and had gotten as far as mapping out one, The Recreation Trails Master Plan, but the group kind of fell apart. Since that time financial priorities have been geared towards other projects.

"The Recreation Trails Master Plan consisted of miles and miles of recreational trails, most were in town but one was out by Patterson Lake," Kramer said. "The one by Patterson Lake was called Crooked Crane Trail. This 17 mile trail was meant for mountain biking and horse back riding."

"It might be time to take a look at doing these trails again if there was enough interest in it, a new committee would have to be formed and either pick up where the other left off, or start from scratch," Kramer said. "Some of the things the committee would have to think about is that the area by Patterson Lake is Federal property and part of a wildlife management area, that doesn't necessarily mean there will be obstacles, I am just saying they would have to check into it."

"There was also mention of how the trail could be used by people of all ages, and how it would be a good family activity, good stress reliever, and good form of exercise," said Gaylon Baker, vice president for the Stark County Development Corporation.

"My suggestion seemed to spark a lot of interest, I even got a few emails after my presentation from people who had heard about the meeting and were very interested in my idea," Steiner said.

One of those emails came from Nate Bouray, an attorney at Ebeltoft Sickler Lawyers. "I am definitely in support of Vicky's idea, I'm a jogger myself and it gets tough sometimes, you worry about running on the side of the road and traffic, having a designated area for that type of activity would make it easier," Bouray said. "I think having more activities to do in town and generally making Dickinson a fun, safe, and nice place to live would keep people in the area. Young and old alike, even with fluctuations in job opportunities."

If you are interested in the project you can contact Dave Lehman at davellehman