Gunn Park To Expand

Fort Scott Parks and Buildings Supervisor Todd Farrell works to subdue the overgrown vegetation on the newly purchased seven-acre property at the entrance to Gunn Park.

Fort Scottian Frank Halsey is a trailblazer.

He has worked in the last decade to mark and prepare trails through Gunn Park so he can mountain bike.

His passion for this sport has led to over eight miles of bike trails for public use.

He has spearheaded construction of trails that meander around the edge of the park and most recently helped the City of Fort Scott purchase more land for public use trails.

The acreage addition to the park began about two years ago when Halsey noticed a “for sale” sign near the entrance to the park.

“I inquired about the property about one-and-a-half years ago,” Halsey said. “Over the last two years, the price has become doable.”

Halsey learned of  Timken Industries grants to communities. The business has a plant in Fort Scott’s industrial park.

“Where they have plants, they have grants to help the community,” he said.

“Gunn Park Trails was able to acquire the grant to help pay for the land,” Halsey said. “We were able to get awarded $10,000 to buy property.”

The City of Fort Scott got on board.

At a recent Fort Scott Commission meeting, the city agreed to allocate $10,000, which along with the grant of $10,000 allowed the purchase of the seven-acres from the owner, Jerry Jackman, Iola.

“The corner lot (of the property) is an ideal location for pump tracks,” Halsey said. “Pump tracks are like a skate park for bikes.”

The six acres behind the corner lot is ideal for more trails, he said.

Halsey will begin work soon.

“Winter is a good time to build trails,” he said. “There is not so much vegetation. We hope to have it completed by the spring of 2018.”

For more information see the website www.gunnparktrails.com

Fort Scott Parks and Building Supervisor Todd Farrell mows the newly acquired acreage Monday.

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