HUNTINGTON — The city of Huntington began building a walking trail through Centennial Park Monday.
“It’s a nice park,” city manager Bill Stewart said. “This is something people have been talking about doing for a long time and it is nice to finally be doing it.”
In late January the city received confirmation that they would be given a $25,000 grant from the Laura Jane Musser Fund Rural Initiative Program of Minneapolis, Minnesota. While this will not cover the entire cost of the walking trail, it will help the city get the ball rolling on the project.
The project is entirely funded either by grant money — which has to be used specifically for the park — or donations of time and resources to the city from residents, Stewart said.
The project is to be completed in two stages. The first is to build the trail and beautify it with plants, benches and a trail overlay. They’re using concrete to allow those who rely on walkers or wheelchairs to access the trail with little-to-no issue, Stewart said.
“We want it as level and smooth as possible so not only people with wheelchairs but people using canes and walkers or who don’t use any but have trouble walking won’t trip and fall, we want to prevent that,” Stewart said.
They also built the trail in a way to keep people away from the roads, Stewart said. They did this so anyone who brings kids to the park will not have to worry about them running out to the road as much.
Crews began by digging out the six-foot-wide trail through the grass on Monday. The city utilized its own men from the public utilities department to do this project. As soon as they are finished it will be in the hands of R.M. Concrete Company from Lufkin to complete the walkway.
From there, the city will rely entirely on donations from the Garden Club, Huntington Historical Society and other individuals who want to see the trail finished. Volunteers are contributing time and money to build an outside museum where visitors can visit or take a break from walking.
The garden club will donate flowers and other plants to beautify the sides of the trail and have already begun fixing up the plants they think would best suit the area. Some are planning to donate plants that have been in their families for a hundred years or more, Stewart said.
The Historical Society also will be donating signs to place along the pathway to teach visitors about Huntington’s history alongside their donations for the outside museum, Stewart said.
There is no deadline for when the trail or museum will be finished, it is entirely reliant upon the concrete company, volunteers and what money becomes available as time passes, Stewart said.