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Published: Thursday, 5/20/2004

Hike/bike trail planned near Olander Park

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The section of the trail the Olander system will develop will run from the vicinity of Sylvania Avenue and Mitchaw Road and connect to an existing trail that runs between Centennial Quarry and Terrace and the athletic fields at Pacesetter Park on Sylvania-Metamora Road.

Gary Madrzykowski, director of the park system, said the trail is estimated to cost about $400,000. He said the Olander system probably will pay for about $100,000 of the cost and has applied for grants from both the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for the balance of the expense.

Preliminary approval has been received from the transportation department.

The southern end of the proposed Olander trail will be at Timberstone Junior High School and go east and north through the 60 acres of parkland the system bought last year. The trail then will run along Brint Road and north through open fields and some wooded areas until it connects with a short trail that runs between Pacesetter and the swimming quarry.

Development of the trail in the new park, Mr. Madrzykowski said, is not only for recreation, but was a part of a presentation to the Lucas County Planning Commission for the zoning change that allowed for the parkland and its connection to housing being developed in the same area.

The trail will allow youngsters living in the vicinity to bicycle to the junior high school with less risk than if they were on roadways in the rapidly growing area.

The plan is being presented today at Olander Park in conjunction with the Toledo Area Metropolitan Council of Governments, which is sponsoring events this week to urge people to use transportation alternatives to solo driving.

The map to be shown at today's event envisions an extension of the University/Parks Trail west through the former King Road landfill, which is now fenced off. The trail continues west nearly to Herr Road, where it turns north and connects with the Olander route at the junior high school.

The landfill is owned by Lucas County and has been closed due to contamination since 1976.

Jim Shaw, county sanitary engineer, said a proposal has been sent to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, seeking approval for a bike trail through the landfill area.

He said that as the trail extension is now planned, it would be built on a former rail bed through the landfill.

"It's not on the property where dumping occurred," Mr. Shaw said, and it would be for a recreational purpose."

Mr. Shaw said he anticipates a response from the state agency by the end of next month.

He said the county owns some land west of the dump, which may be used for the continuation of the trail and that Olander and other entities will seek to obtain rights to the property needed for that leg of the hike/bike trail.

Mr. Madrzykowski said that if a trail can't be developed through the former dump, he hopes to be able to obtain rights to enough land just north of it to create the trail extension.

Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak said it is difficult to assemble a network of trails, but that there has been increasing success recently in establishing them.

She said she is pleased to see the effort being made to extend and connect trails.

Contact Mike Jones at:

mjones@theblade.com

or 419-724-6096



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