The long-anticipated construction of a one-mile extension to the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail between County Road 33 and County Road 20 is scheduled to begin this spring. Friends plan to transfer ownership of the construction corridor to Elkhart County Parks at the May meeting of the park board. The exact date for the start of construction will be decided by contractor and the engineering consultants.
The Friends of the Pumpkinvine received title to the trail route from five farm families in June 2017. “Because of wetlands near the proposed trail corridor, a number of agencies had to sign off on the construction plans,” said John Yoder, Friends of the Pumpkinvine president. “Those agencies include the county drainage board, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the Army Corp of Engineers and the Indiana
Department of Natural Resources.”
Estimated cost of the section is $885,204. Funds for construction have come from Community Foundation of Elkhart County that provided a $300,000 matching grant, $200,000 from Recreational Trails Program of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, $75,000 from Elkhart County Parks, and numerous donations from individuals and corporate sponsors. A grant of $35,000 from the Bicentennial Nature Trust went toward purchase of the land. The first signs of construction will be the cleaning of the south fork of Pine Creek along County Road 20.