Statement issued Tuesday:
Fort Wayne, IN: Mayor Tom Henry dedicated the .44 mile Rivergreenway extension from Johnny Appleseed Park to the Ron Venderly Bridge on the IPFW campus today. IPFW Chancellor Michael Wartell, Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll, Greenways Manager Dawn Ritchie, City Council Members, and trail advocates joined the celebration.
This 10 foot wide trail is Phase 1-A of a three mile extension of the Rivergreenway expected to connect with Shoaff Park in 2013. The next planned phase, in 2011, will run between the west side of the Venderly Bridge and Upper St. Joe Center Road.
"Connecting our beloved Rivergreenway trail network to the IPFW campus is an achievement for all of us to celebrate, as this has been one of the most requested trail extensions,” said Mayor Henry. “It will not only serve as an additional recreational path along the St. Joseph River, but also a new way for pedestrians and bicyclists to get to northeast Indiana's largest university and provides additional connectivity to the North Anthony corridor."
The trail extension begins at the Rivergreenway terminus on the north side of Johnny Appleseed Park and extends along the south side of the Coliseum Boulevard Bridge over the St. Joe River. On the southeast side of the Coliseum Boulevard Bridge, the trail heads south along North Anthony Boulevard. A boardwalk takes trail users down to river level at 180 degrees in order to head north and cross under Coliseum Boulevard to the IPFW campus. The trail continues northward to the Venderly Bridge and connects to the newly paved 1.25 mile Native Trees of Indiana River Walk on IPFW’s campus. Finally, the trail also links to the .5 mile North Anthony Trail and Streetscape Project completed by the City in 2009 – connecting with Concordia High School and the North Anthony Business Corridor.
IPFW Chancellor Wartell said the extension “…is one more example of the many ways in which the University and the City work together to continually improve the quality of life for everyone in Fort Wayne and Allen County. We are very pleased to be a part of the Greenway system and look forward to the thousands of people who will use the trail and hope that they will continue their journey on our River Walk.”
Cyclists are encouraged to try out the new extension Tuesday evening at 6 pm during the weekly community bike ride, “Bike Trek the Trails.” Participants should meet at IPFW on the east side of the Venderly Bridge. They will ride from IPFW to downtown Fort Wayne, for a total of 7 miles. Here is a list of the summer’s trail rides, which begin at 6 pm:
- August 3, 2010 Rivergreenway from Foster Park to the Public Safety Academy – meet at Foster Park Trailhead parking lot by Pavilion No. 1 & Volleyball Courts. Ride is 8.5 miles.
- August 10, 2010 Rivergreenway – Swinney Park to Foster Park – meet at Swinney Park Trailhead parking lot by swimming pool. Ride is 8.5 miles.
- August 17, 2010 Aboite Trails – meet at Deer Ridge Elementary School by trail. Ride is 6-8 miles.
- August 24, 2010 Salomon Farm Loop and Pufferbelly Trail - meet at Salomon Farm parking lot, 817 W. Dupont Rd., by the trailhead kiosk sign. Ride is 6 miles.
“We have one of the finest trail systems in the Midwest and it’s free for everyone to enjoy,” said Director Moll. “Whether you’re exploring the land and meeting other trail users during the community bike ride, or you’re spending quality time with your family on a leisurely walk, get out and use the trails!”