Fundraising continues for Arcadia Lake trail
EDMOND — Private fundraising efforts are continuing in an effort to build a multipurpose trail around Arcadia Lake.
The city of Edmond is building the first three miles of the trail, from Interstate 35 to Spring Creek Park.
Arcadia Lake Trail Coalition members, who are looking for corporate and individual donors, got their first look in April at the trail that has been cleared and leveled.
“This is impressive,” said Henry Holasek, owner of Al's Bicycles and a coalition member, as he walked to the start of the trail on the southwest portion of the A Loop in Spring Creek Park.
“We're excited about this,” said Caleb McCaleb, one of the original members of the
It is the first stretch of what coalition members plan to be an 18.8-mile trail around Arcadia Lake. The first three miles of the trail are expected to be finished by August.
“We wanted to show off the trail,” Kasey Evans, another coalition chairman, said during a meeting held recently at the trail construction site. “It is a wide trail. It looks like a road.”
The first three miles of the trail cost $2.9 million, funded by a special sales tax passed by voters in 2000 for capital improvements.
Coalition members hope the city's commitment to build the first three-mile section will boost their fundraising efforts. The Edmond Land Conservancy is partnering with the city and the coalition.
The estimated cost is $1 million per mile.
“You build it and people will run and walk and get rid of the heart disease we have in this state,” Evans said.
The Arcadia Lake Trail has been a long time coming. City council members first heard a proposal more than three years ago.
The original organizer, David Tew, wanted the trail for walkers, joggers and bicyclists. He was joined in his vision by local developers McCaleb and Jim Tapp.
“The economic aspect is tough right now,” Evans said. “We are having some successes. With this visual progress, it will be easier to raise funds.”
The trail will be constructed in phases over four to five years.
City park staffers have received a small trail development grant.
“They are reviewing the possibility of a small extension of this trail with these funds,” said City Manager Larry Stevens. “It is a matching grant which would help fund $300,000 of additional trail from Spring Creek Park to the park entrance on 15th Street.”
The contractor, Rudy Construction, has 240 calendar days to finish the first three miles.
Assistant City Manager Steve Commons said the 18-foot-wide trail allows eight feet for pedestrians and 10 feet for bicyclists. A 24-foot area has been cleared to construct the trail.
“We found a couple of soft spots,” Commons said. “We will have to get that worked out. Once they get to the asphalt it will go down pretty quick. We have no concerns at this time.”
The next section of the trail will be from Spring Creek Park to Carl Reherman Park, now under construction.
“The prettiest part is to Carl Reherman Park,” McCaleb said. “It sits up high and there is a view of the lake.”
Voters on April 5 approved a half-cent sales tax for 10 years for capital improvements. A 21-member citizens task force recommended after a 17-week study a list of improvements they want the money spent on.
An expanded and improved trails system was one of the recommended projects.
McCaleb said he wanted to get in line first for some of the new capital improvement tax money.