A map of Leavenworth County's trails more than two years in the making is finally coming to fruition, with a rough draft presented to the Leavenworth County Port Authority Wednesday.
Cecilia Harry, economic development coordinator for the Leavenworth County Development Corporation, said the map is the culmination of the efforts of a committee of volunteers working to produce a document that includes the entire system of pedestrian and bicycle paths through the county.
“I almost want to ask for a drumroll,” Harry said, considering how long the project has taken.
She said the task was on a “to do” list when she was brought on board at LCDC two years ago. Since then, the members of the committee have worked to gather and map data on the paths with geographic information systems software. One committee member, Kevin Otterman, walked trails with a global positioning device and used his own mapping expertise to help get concrete coordinates for the map. Harry in particular pointed to Otterman and Leavenworth County's Jim Kraatz for help in bringing the technical aspects of the project together.
“The hardest parts are behind us, I think,” Harry said Wednesday as she presented the draft.
That doesn't mean that the map is complete. Many of the design is penciled in as “placeholders” and she said the committee is still hoping to get some local business to advertise on the map to help fund its printing. All told, Harry estimated that the map could be finished by the of the year. She thanked the current committee members for their help in getting this far.
“Without that work, this would still be a concept,” she said.
Terry Andrews, the chairman of the Port Authority, said he thought the finished product could benefit the county as a whole, especially as a lot of other area communities work to both strengthen and promote their own trail systems.
“This goes a long way in improving quality of life. So many people, particularly retired military, active-duty military and others, enjoy the trails,” he said. “I think it's a step forward.”