By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Earlier this month, the Jefferson Township trustees purchased six acres of land along Little Darby Creek on Taylor Blair Road to use as park land.
The land sits on the north side of the creek near the covered bridge on Taylor Blair Road, just off of U.S. Route 40 on the west side of West Jefferson. The township’s community park, established in 2006, sits on the opposite side of the creek, just below Pleasant Hill Cemetery, and features parking, a shelter house, an asphalt walking path and fishing access.
“We hope to connect the two somehow,” said trustee Jeff Pfeil.
For years, people have parked along Taylor Blair Road north of the bridge, then walked down to what is the new park land to go fishing. To do so, they walk across and along Taylor Blair where there’s a curve in the road and very little berm.
The township trustees hope to extend a path from their already established park on the south side of the creek, taking it along the creek bank, up to and across the bridge, and down the other side to the new park land. That way, visitors could legally park their cars in the parking lot on the south side of the creek and safely walk to the north side without using the road.
“We’ve talked to Dave Brand, the county engineer. He said he would help us with the project. One of the things he said he could do is move and extend the guardrail along Taylor Blair,” said trustee Jon Forrest.
For ideas on how to design and fund construction of the walking path, as well as how to make the most out of the new park land, the trustees are consulting with the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails. The non-profit volunteer group is responsible for the creation of the multi-use bike path that runs through Madison County via London and, therefore, has experience in securing funding for, developing and maintaining public park and recreation projects.
The Jefferson Township trustees purchased the six acres of new park land for $60,000 from brothers Tim and Gary Hay. Of that purchase amount, $50,000 was covered by a grant from First Energy. The other $10,000 came from the township’s general fund.
The Jefferson Township trustees—Leon Creamer, Jon Forrest and Jeff Pfeil—meet at 7:30 p.m. every other Wednesday at Hampton Cemetery, 225 Cemetery Road, West Jefferson. The next meeting is March 5. The public is welcome to attend.