Black-Eyed Susan along the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

Black-Eyed Susan along the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MapleHeart and Pumpkinvine

Word from Mary Cripe, Goshen City engineer, is that the connection between the Pumpkinvine and the MapleHeart Trail will be completed by Nov. 1, 2011.  Here's a link to some photos of the section of the MapleHeart yet to be done between N. 1st Street and the bridge over Rock Run Creek.  Construction: Pumpkinvine to MapleHeart - Sept. 26, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Getting from CR 33 to the DQ in Middlebury

Here are two ways to get to Middlebury from the end of the Pumpkinvine at CR 33.

CR 33 to Middlebury DQ -- from the west on county roads. Note that Google maps mislabels US 20 as US 26.

CR 33 to Middlebury DQ via SR 13

Remarks at ribbon cutting, Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, September 20, 2011

By John Yoder, president
Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, Inc.

When I look back on the beginnings of our Friends organization and our efforts to create this greenway, and when I remember the obstacles we overcame to get to this ribbon cutting, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that it’s something of a miracle we’re standing here today.  What made today possible were many small miracles that happened along the way.

·         When we needed an expert to research the title to the Pumpkinvine corridor, Jim Ingold was there.
·         When we needed legal advice on how to begin a non-profit organization, Galen Kauffmann volunteered.
·         When we needed property-law expertise, Jim Byron, Jim Brother, Chuck Grodnik and Doug Mulvany offered to work pro bono.
·         When we needed $100,000 to purchase the land, 135 founders opened their checkbooks to buy the corridor.
·         When we needed a banker to help us get a $40,000 loan to complete the purchase, C.J. Yoder lent us his expertise.
·         When we needed an appraisal to determine the value of the land as a local match, Iverson Grove volunteered his time.
·         When we needed the experience of established trails to guide our decision making, Rory Robinson of the National Park Service and Bob Bronson gave us excellent advice.
·         When we needed to form partnerships with Goshen Parks, Rich Fay and Sherri Howland became those partners.
·         When the trail pushed into Elkhart County, Dan Seltenright and Larry Neff became board members.
·         When we had the opportunity build a demo section of trail in Middlebury, John McKee and Mark Salee made it happen.
·         When we needed advocates in Shipshewana, Norm Kauffmann, Mike Puro, Sheryl Kelly and Roger Yoder became those advocates.
·         When our organization needed someone who obsessed about the details needed to negotiate land swaps with adjacent land owners, Jim Smith and Bob Carrico gave us outstanding leadership.
·         When we needed a person to create a signature bike ride to publicize and raise funds for the trail, Danny Graber volunteered for the job.

Time does not permit a recitation of the contribution of all 42 people who have served on our board of directors, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention several who have served 10 years or more:  Mike Bontreger, Bob Hatch, Quinn Holdeman, Jr. , Merritt Lehman and Myron Yoder.

 On behalf of the Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, Inc., I want to thank everyone who contributed their time, talent and money to create, what I think, will be a wonderful community asset.

They had the faith and vision to make the idea of a greenway into the  reality we celebrate today.