Let’s help maintain the Pumpkinvine

friendsPumpkinvine News

If you’ve ridden the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail recently, you know how much our community has embraced this linear park. Riders, walkers and joggers of all ages are using the trail for recreation and commuting to work.
Meanwhile, the trail continues grow. In June, your support of the Friends made it possible for us to help fund construction of 1.4 miles of trail between County Road 35 and County Road 37. Last fall the City of Goshen connected the Pumpkinvine to the Maple City Greenway that goes to Elkhart and built another spur to County Road 36 near the Elkhart County fairgrounds. The remaining funded sections of the trail should be finished next summer. The heavy use, a new section completed, a new spur, a link to Elkhart, and coming construction are all reason to celebrate. We thank you for your generous support that has made it all possible.
Cracks in the Pumpkinvine east of CR 127
At the same time, you may have seen major cracks in the trail surface east of County Road 127. These cracks are a reminder of the fact that keeping the trail in good condition is going to take regular maintenance.
That’s where you can help. The Friends have made helping with trail maintenance a priority. The four trail-managing agencies – Goshen Parks, Elkhart County Parks, the town of Middlebury and the town of Shipshewana – are all dealing with less revenue from taxes and increased competition for funds among many worthy projects.
Now, however, we have a funding mechanism. Beginning in 2013, the Friends will support the maintenance budget of these four public agencies in proportion to the number of miles of trail they have to maintain. The agreement is in the form of a Memo of Understanding. Our level of support will depend on the amount of support we receive from trail users, corporate sponsors and the annual Pumpkinvine Bike Ride.
What does it cost to keep a trail like the Pumpkinvine in good shape? According to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the cost of maintaining a multi-use trail is between $1,500 and $2,000 per mile per year. Since the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is 16 miles long, maintenance will cost between $24,000 and $32,000 per year.
Here are a few of the items in a typical trail-maintenance budget:  pothole repair, mowing, leaf and fallen tree removal , vandalism repair, tree pruning, parking area maintenance, bench and table repair, emptying trash cans, monitoring trail activity, updating information on kiosks, planting flowers, removing litter, and bridge inspection and repair. Pruning trees isn’t as glamorous as laying asphalt or decking a bridge, but it’s a necessary part of keeping the trail useable, safe and attractive.
Please join us in our effort to keep the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in top condition. You can donate online at
www.pumpkinvine.org. Look for the “Donate” button on the left side of the home page. You can also donate to:
Friends of the Pumpkinvine
P.O. Box 392
Goshen, IN 46527-0392
Your gift will make it possible to keep the trail a first-class greenway. 
John D. Yoder
Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, Inc.