The paths have been cleared, the pond dredged, the concrete poured and the picnic tables have been put in place for the new Green Recreation Trail.


The paths have been cleared, the pond dredged, the concrete poured and the picnic tables have been put in place for the new Green Recreation Trail.

A ceremony was held Monday to commemorate the opening of the trail that is located at the east end of the city water treatment plant on Country Club Road.

Part of the trail is next to the Ninnescah River and the whole trail snakes its way through a long grove of trees that sometimes resembles a jungle.

“This is fabulous,” said Linda Lanterman, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Tourism acting director of Parks Division during the dedication ceremony. “It’s a great place to walk and enjoy the river and the deer.”

No firearms will be allowed on the property. With all the effort that went into the project, the department will close the access road at 8 p.m. to keep the area a good, safe environment, Lanterman said.

The trail is a one-mile loop that has cross over loops at one-quarter, one-half and three-quarters. It is a day use only trail with no camping. Future plans are make the area available for youth archery.

Law enforcement will patrol the area. The trail touches property belonging to Jack Black to the south and the Mark Hodson family to the east. The Green Sports complex is to the north and Country Club Road boarders the property on the west.

People using the trail are reminded to stay on the trail property and not to trespass on private property.

The trail has taken many hours of labor to clear trees and brush and make a path wide enough for ATVs. Several pieces of old farm equipment were found among the trees and brought together in one place and put on display behind a wooden fence.

The trail is wider than the nature trail in Lemon Park and plans are to have the new trail open for ATV vehicles some time in June, Lanterman said.

The KDWPT is managing and developing the 134-acre trail area that sits on the south side of the Green Sports Complex. Assisting KDWPT with the project is Americorp, a KDWPT subsidiary, which spent many hours cutting and moving trees. The Gear Up students from Liberty Middle School also helped pickup trash along the river.

At the start of the trail is a parking area, a sidewalk that leads to several picnic tables, a fishing pond and an old wooden cabin built by former Pratt Chief of Police Paul Garst. Many law enforcement officers have fond memoirs of that cabin, Lanterman said.

The pond used to be shallow but was dredged out and is deep now so visitors need to take care around the pond, Lanterman said.

The area has been used for decades but not developed. It was featured on the front cover of Fish and Game Magazine in the summer of 1967.

Carolyn Compton, daughter of Bob Green, owns the property and leases it to KDWPT. Bob Green started the communication with former Pratt City Manager George Anderson to donate the land for the green sports complex that was dedicated June 1, 2004. Green also talked to KDWPT taking over this property along the Ninnescah and developing it.

“Bob Green was a good friend to the community,” Anderson said.

Pratt City Commissioner Bill Hlavachick said the trail means a lot to the community and thanked the Green family for their community support.

Pratt County Commissioner Dwight Adams said it was a great asset to the community and great things were yet to come.