Trail, beach planned for Lincoln park, lake

November 06, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - This December as the snow begins to fall, Judge-Executive Buckwheat Gilbert will be planning for the sunny weather ahead. If all goes as planned, the summer's sun will bring with it a walking trail in First Southern Veteran's Park and a new beach at Cedar Creek Lake.

Both projects will be financed with a state grant recently awarded to Lincoln County by the state Department for Local Government. The funding - $50,000 for the trail and $75,000 for the beach - will not be available until after January and must be matched by the county.

Gilbert said the matching funds would come in the form of in-kind labor, using the estimated costs of machine and man-hours spent by the county on the beach and walking path.

Cedar Creek Lake already has several bank-access fishing areas, but no official swimming areas. Gilbert said he would dredge out a section of bank waters, mark off the area with buoys and have several inches of sand spread.


"Most of that ($75,000) will go toward the sand," said Gilbert.

In addition to a new beach, the county is on the verge of starting construction on an 83-acre recreation complex.

Located at the intersection of U.S. 27 and U.S. 150 in Stanford, First Southern Veteran's Park will feature several sports fields in addition to a paved walking path.

"What we're going to have is a paved trail around the park, ... a good, safe walking trail. It will be well lit so you can walk at night. We've already got the light poles for it," said Gilbert.

In addition to a safe place to walk, Gilbert said the park, "the first of its kind in the county," will give families a place to gather.

"We will have nice, clean restrooms. We will have a Little League baseball field, softball field, small fishing lake and a memorial honoring all of the county veterans," said Gilbert. "Hopefully, this will attract some industry."

The park will be located near a shopping center and close to the library, something Gilbert said is intentional.

"It is as well centered as we could get in the county. It will belong to the people of Lincoln County," said Gilbert.

County officials hope the trilogy of a new beach, recreational complex and industrial park, currently under construction, will help entice younger generations to stay in Lincoln County as well as give them a sense of community ownership.

"We're hoping to attract children from all over the county, not just Stanford," said Gilbert. "This is a total county project, and we want people from the county to feel like it's theirs."

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