New recreational trail dedicated in Jackson

Friday, November 1, 2002

Sixty-three trees were planted in Jackson's Litz Park two years ago through a Branch Out Missouri grant. Now a new recreational trail circles the lake in the park with more than half the cost paid by a state wildlife conservation grant. It's all part of a master plan to develop the 35 acres as a spot where visitors can stop and smell the wildflowers.

"We plan to make Litz a nature park," says Shane Anderson, the city's director of parks and recreation.

The quarter-mile trail around the lake in Litz Park is the first leg in a mile of trails planned for the park. The plan, worked out between the city's department of parks and recreation and the Missouri Department of Conservation, calls for the addition of a wildflower garden, shrubbery and tree identification markers. The trees planted are all native to Southeast Missouri: Oaks, poplar, hickories and flowering trees.

The park also has other recreational facilities, including a picnic pavilion and tennis and basketball courts. Only motorized vehicles are banned from the trail.

Dr. Deborah Price and her dog, Hershel, were among the first to use the newly dedicated Litz Park Walking/Recreational Trail Thursday.

"I think it's marvelous," she said. "Otherwise it was hard to walk through the park when there was no trail. It also makes it hard for people with limited mobility."

Litz Park is located off Shawnee Boulevard just west of Bent Creek Golf Course.

A.J. Hendershott of the Missouri Department of Conservation has worked with Anderson on the park plan. He says trails invariably increase usage of a park.

The state contributed $13,000 of the nearly $23,000 cost of building the 8-foot-wide asphalt trail. City crews cut the trail and laid down rock.

Hendershott applauded Jackson for being able to obtain two state conservation grants in a short period of time.

Jackson already has a mile-long trail in City Park. Another mile of trail also is planned for Brookside Park. The Brookside trail will connect with 10 acres of undeveloped city property along Hubble Creek across from the city industrial park.

335-6611, extension 182

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