Petersburg Pilot -

Hungry Point and City Creek trails getting improvements

 

Submitted Illustration

The proposed improvements to the City Creek Trail will take several years to complete and should make the trail far more accessible, especially for those with disabilities. The above illustration shows the proposal.

Petersburg Parks and Rec is finally getting to upgrade portions of the City Creek Trail and Hungry Point Trail, thanks to a local partnership with the Petersburg Indian Association (PIA) and grant funds. Parks and Rec director Donnie Hayes says this has been in the works for nearly 10 years, well before borough formation and Hayes coming to town.

"Before my time there had already been discussions between the Petersburg Indian Association and Petersburg Parks and Recreation, about ways that we could partner to use their transportation grant money," Hayes says. "Really to create a strong trail system in the Petersburg Borough."

Both projects are going to take a couple years and will be the product of multiple grants, including a Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) grant for the City Creek Trail, and a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) grant for the Hungry Point Trail.

The rock on the City Creek Trail will get improvements making the grade, in spots, more accessible to those with disabilities. An elevated boardwalk, similar to the trail at Blind River Rapids, will also be created to allow easier walking on the trail than is possible on the current trail with many exposed roots. The boardwalk will include notch outs with benches, giving people a place to rest and relax while looking out over Frederick Sound.

"We will not be doing the entire trail, it'll only be about the first 800 yards or so to start," Hayes says. "As we are able to find more grant money we will continue to work on that trail."

Improvements to the Hungry Point Trail will include expansion and addition of elevated boardwalk. The PIA crew has already completed 350 feet of a 2,000-foot goal, according to Tribal Transportation Program (TTP) director Susan Harai.

"PIA has been a Godsend, it really is a beautiful partnership," Hayes says. "PIA is able to provide an actual work force to do these trails, while at the same time, giving that work force the chance to learn new skills."

Hayes supplies some of the material costs and helps out by writing grants because Parks and Rec is limited when it comes to employees they can provide in the field. Whereas PIA has been looking to diversify the ability of its 13 employees and to have a greater impact in the community.

Submitted by Susan Harai

PIA employee Jeanette Phillips works on improving the Hungry Point Trail. PIA is partnering with Petersburg Parks and Rec to add an elevated boardwalk path to the local trail.

"It's a really great partnership, because we have an ongoing transportation program that does projects in and around Petersburg," Harai says. "It's really terrific, because part of the funding goes to training the employees for the transportation program."

The additions to the Hungry Point Trail are estimated to cost $245,000, and a $52,000 DNR grant awarded to the TTP will go toward its completion. For Harai, working with the borough is great, especially because of the relationship she has formed with Hayes, who will be leaving town soon.

"I've been working Donnie since 2013," she says. "I think the world of Donnie Hayes, he's been terrific and we're really going to miss him."

Construction will continue throughout the summer and portions of the Hungry Point Trail will be closed at times, but those looking for recreation will still be able access the trail not closed for construction.

 

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