Plans for closing CR 33-to-CR 20 gap move forward
Environmental agencies visit trail site
Plans for closing the gap in the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail between County Road 33 and County Road 20 have passed another major hurdle, but minor changes to route of the trail near a wetlands area and acquiring the necessary permits mean that construction is probably a year away.
On Oct. 4, representatives from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (INDNR), Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), and the Army Corp of Engineers walked the proposed trail route with Bernie Cunningham and Nick Steele from Elkhart County Parks, Larry Neff from the Friends of the Pumpkinvine, Qasim Asghar of DLZ (consultants) and Steve Schweisberger liaison from the county surveyor’s
office to the county drainage board.
They looked at an area where the proposed route was close to wetlands and the proposed realignment of the South Fork of Pine Creek, a change the Friends of the Pumpkinvine suggested to maximize the available land for one of the farmers along the trail. However, IDEM, the Corp of Engineers and INDNR rejected the creek realignment, claiming that it would destroy habitat for rare plants, but, they gave tentative approval to a slightly different route that would work.
“It took over three years to negotiate a route forthe trail in this section with five farm families,” said John Yoder, Friends of the Pumpkinvine president, “but the result is an excellent route for trail users and one that respects the wishes of adjacent landowners. These five farm families see the benefits of the trail for the community, and we are grateful for their community spirit in allowing us to purchase this land to make a safer trail.”
The county drainage board plans to clean the creek near the trail this winter. Meanwhile, the engineering consultants will move forward with construction documents for the trail, while waiting on final approval
of their plans from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Construction on this section is possible by summer 2016
Support the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail through the Kroger Community Rewards Program
If you shop at Krogers you can designate the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail to receive rewards based on the amount spend at their stores. All you need to do is designate Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail as your favored recipient. Step by step instructions are available here.