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First Steps for the Lamar Loop

 

Left to Right: Rick Akers, Chana Reed, Anne Marie-Crampton, Kirk Crespin, Mayor Roger Stagner, Administrator John Sutherland, Gerry Jenkins, Kendra Buchanan, Chamber of Commerce President

 

The Lamar Loop is complete. The six year project which involved numerous alternative plans and flexible funding was officially dedicated with ribbon cutting ceremonies this past Saturday, May 4th at 1pm at Willow Creek Park.  Several dozen residents were on hand to enjoy a free hotdog lunch and some snacks from High Plains Community Health Center while others brought their bicycles for a quick spin on a portion of the Loop before the official ceremonies began.

Riders Assembling for a Brief Cruise

Mayor Roger Stagner offered thanks to the community for their support and input, as well as GoCO, Greater Outdoors Colorado for initial funding along with the Colorado Health Foundation for its financial support.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, detailed the early development stages of the Loop, “In April 2013, the Urban Land Institute, following recommendations from the community-at-large and their studies, submitted their report on the creation of the Lamar Loop and its benefits to area residents.  That was the genesis of all this effort over the years,” he explained.  He thanked the city council, recreation department and citizens in general for their patience and support, including initial grant funding from Healthy Places which contributed to the planning cost of the project.

Chana Reed, out-going Southeast Colorado GoCO Representative, outlined the amount of planning and work that went into the project that is now open to residents and visitors to Lamar. Reed said she believed the next person to represent southeast Colorado on the GoCO board will be from La Junta.

Gearharts Out for an Afternoon Stroll

Projects and costs for the Loop over the years of development ran between $1.3 million to $900,000 pending funding availabilities which also defined the scope and size of the project. While some portions of the six mile walking trail are lined with asphalt, some are of concrete while another segment that lines Willow Creek east of the park is composed of crusher fine material.  The Loop continues to develop as more amenities are scheduled to be incorporated as funding provides.  Just this past week, 12 foot tall sapling trees were planted along a portion of the walkway in the Greenbelt area from McCorkle Park on West Oak Street.  More signage and trash receptacles will be included with future developments.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesEntertainmentEnvironmentEventsFeaturedHealthPublic SafetyRecreationSportsThe Journal AlertTourismTransportation

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