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Trail maintenance donations at work
Many sections of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail are over 10 years old. Erosion threatens to undermine the asphalt at some locations where the trail was built on a raised railroad bed. On May 1st Elkhart County Parks used a front loader tractor to move 100 tons of #53 gravel to an eroded area near County Road 26 just east of County Road 31. Four Friends volunteers spread the gravel after it was delivered by the tractor. Other sites need similar repair and Friends expect the work to continue into 2021.
The collaboration between Friends and Elkhart County Parks provides considerable savings compared to hiring a contractor. Friends bought the gravel with trail maintenance funds donated by trail supporters.
Friends purchase land for trail into Shipshewana
In the autumn of 2019 Friends of the Pumpkinvine purchased land needed to extend the trail from the present east end at County Road 850 W through Shipshewana to County Road 735 W. Later Friends transferred ownership to the Town of Shipshewana. Earlier the Town gained ownership or was promised most of the land required for building the trail, but they lacked the three parcels donated by Friends. The donation made it possible for Shipshewana to file an application for a NextLevel Trails Grant 2019 in November 2019.