Posted at: 01/09/2013 9:49 PM
Updated at: 01/09/2013 10:28 PM
The Lowell to Lakewalk Trail would do two things. It would connect students to their schools, and offer residents a scenic path to local businesses.
Parks and Recreation Manager Kathy Bergen said that is why it appeals to the community.
“So it's a very popular project because it could be a transportation pathway for many people, but it's also a beautiful recreational kind of trail,” Bergen said.
The proposed trail would start near the Lowell Elementary School on Rice Lake Rd. A concept map shows it winding through St. Scholastica and UMD. It would work it's way down to Congdon Park Elementary School where it would meet up with the Lakewalk near 32nd Ave. E.
Runners and bikers could use the trail. It would consist of a paved 10-foot walkway much like the current Lakewalk.
That had Lakewalk enthusiasts excited.
“We use these trails a lot. It's not just the tourists that use these trails. It's really good for the local people,” Cindy Monroe said.
The public and all the partners involved want the project to move forward, but there is one problem.
“I think funding would be the major limitation. The other ones will be minor and really easy to work out,” Bergen said.
It's still a concept, but the project is expected to cost more than a million dollars. The parks and recreation department hopes a state legacy grant will help them pay for the trail.
The department did not get the grant this year, but with so much momentum behind the project it's bound to become more than just a concept.
But it could be years before residents can hit the pavement. Planners said even with funding it would take two summers to complete the trail.