|Nature enthusiasts will especially enjoy the newest trail completed by the city of Joplin. The Turkey Creek Trail was officially opened today (Sept. 29, 2010) with a ribbon cutting ceremony with city officials, community members and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors that took place at the eastern trailhead near Newman Road and Florida Avenue.
The Turkey Creek Trail is approximately one and a half miles long and has an asphalt surface. It runs west from the intersection of Newman Road and Florida Avenue, winding along in urban forest before it intersects with St. Louis Avenue. The trail then crosses Turkey Creek on the St. Louis Avenue bridge and then heads west again just north of the bridge. This portion of the trail follows Turkey Creek and provides trail enthusiasts with several wildlife spotting opportunities. The western-most point of the trail ends at the bridge on the Frisco Greenway Trail.
Mayor Mike Woolston noted that Joplin's weather typically allows outdoor exercise/recreation nearly 12 months out of the year, and the city recognizes this. "There is a need for walking trails and other outdoor recreational activities for citizens in our community," he said. "The city is committed to helping provide these types of opportunities for all to enjoy, because healthy living is an important component for developing a good quality of life."
Members of several fitness and wellness groups attended the event in support of the new trail. Live Smart members provided trail maps and general wellness literature to educate the public about simple changes they can make in their habits to improve their health. Live Smart is a community health collaborative of Jasper and Newton Counties in conjunction with the Southwest Missouri Community Alliance. The Joplin Trails Coalition, Joplin Roadrunners and the Dogwood Trailblazers also participated in the event, and provided information about their clubs' activities.
The Turkey Creek Trail was part of Missouri Department of Transportation's Enhancement program and was funded by the Missouri Highways & Transportation Commission American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Transportation Enhancement program. The cost of the project was $441,682, with $439,500 coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Sprouls Construction, Inc. was the contractor.
"This Trail provides an alternative to cyclists, walkers and joggers traveling from the Range Line area to the Frisco Greenway Trail or further destinations," said City Manager Mark Rohr. "Citizens can easily reach Landreth Park, downtown Joplin, Joe Becker Stadium or other locations without having to walk, jog or ride on busy City streets. Trails are yet another way for families and individuals to move from one part of the City to another."
The city has approximately 22 miles of trails. Some are loop trails within parks, and others are part of a hub and spoke system that allows citizens from various parts of the city reach the downtown area via trails.