By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester is entering into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a nearly $1 million Clean Ohio Trail Fund grant for the proposed McGill Park trail connector.
The total cost for the project is $901,656 with the 50-50 grant providing $450,828 and local contributions picking up the other half. Construction of the trail is scheduled for the first phase of McGill Park.
The trail runs along Walnut Creek for 0.76 mile and continues to the city’s existing multi-use trail, serving as a connector between the city’s existing trail system in the James Kelly Preserve at the covered bridge on the west end and the newly developed McGill Park along Walnut Creek.
Legislation adopting the agreement, which provides for planning, development, acquisition, construction and/or maintenance of the project, was passed by Canal Winchester City Council under emergency language Sept. 8.
Last January, Canal Winchester City Development Director Lucas Haire said the city received notification of the grant after applying for it the previous year.
“It (the trail) will give residents a place to participate in healthy activities and interact with nature,” said Haire. “It will expose residents to a beautiful part of the city of Canal Winchester adjacent to Walnut Creek. The trail will be an amenity that all residents of Canal Winchester can use regardless of age or physical abilities. We’re excited to have this portion of the park complete early in the development of McGill Park.”
According to Haire, the grant affords the city the opportunity to complete more of its planned improvements to McGill Park within an expedited time frame, starting with the first phase, which includes athletic fields, a playground, shelter houses, utilities, an access drive and parking.
“The trail will connect to these amenities when complete,” Haire said.