Grant sought to connect parkland on Darby Creek


(Posted May 28, 2015)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Jefferson Township trustees and Madison County commissioners are collaborating in hopes of winning grant funds for park improvements.

The township owns park land on the south and north sides of Little Darby Creek, just west of Taylor Blair Road outside of West Jefferson. The aim is to connect the two pieces of land with a sidewalk and elevated wooden walkway.

The township established the park in 2006 with land on the south side of Little Darby Creek. The area features parking, a shelter house, an asphalt walking path and fishing access. The trustees purchased six acres on the north side of the creek in February 2014. The north side does not have designated parking.

For years, people have parked along Taylor Blair Road north of the covered bridge, then walked down to what is the new parkland to go fishing. To do so, they walk across and along Taylor Blair where there’s a curve in the road and little berm.

The trustees want to create a safe way for visitors to get from the south side of the park, where there is designated parking, to the north side. The plan is to install 130 feet of concrete sidewalk and 145 feet of elevated wooden walkway to match the walkway that is part of the covered bridge.

The estimated cost of the project is $33,080. The township and county are seeking a Natureworks grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to cover 75 percent of the cost. The township will cover the other 25 percent. The county owns the right-of-way in which the sidewalk and walkway would lie.

“I think it’s a great project to work with the county commissioners on,” said Bill Houk, who wrote the grant application and serves as chief of the Jefferson Township Fire Department.

Houk submitted the application earlier this month. ODNR will announce the grant recipients this fall.

The Jefferson Township trustees meet at 7:30 p.m. every other Wednesday at Hampton Cemetery, 225 Cemetery Road, West Jefferson. The next meeting is June 10. The county commissioners meet on Monday mornings at the courthouse in London.

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