One walking trail in Mountain Green parallels old highway, directly east of the Mountain Green exit. This walking trail was a community effort and took the dedicated work of many individuals to make it a reality. In 1993, it was recognized by members of the community that a safety hazard existed for young children, walkers, and bike riders who traveled from Monte Verde, Polls and the Highlands to the Old Farm Market or from one subdivision to the other. Pedestrians had to walk on the edge of old highway road which is the main thoroughfare through Mountain Green and connects to Trappers Loop. Especially because of the increased traffic from Ogden Valley due to the completion of Trappers Loop road and the fact that this traffic had to use the old highway in order to connect with the interstate, an effort was made to solve the safety hazard—by creating a walking path.
The Mountain Green Ward Relief Society was looking for a Sesquicentennial project--a project that would benefit the whole community. After considering several nominated projects, the Relief Society decided on the walking trail. The leaders of the Relief Society attended meetings with officials in Park City—where there are many walking trails—and also with the Roads and Recreation officials in SL. They were told of a grant given out by UDOT, and they spearheaded an effort to apply for a grant-- Federal Highway Enhancement Funds--that was expressly for the purpose of helping communities construct walking paths. The leaders of the Relief Society at that time were Debbie Smith, Vicky Weaver, and Connie Abplanalp. Later, Carol King became a counselor instead of Vicky Weaver.
It was a long process because to get the state money for the walking path, matching funds had to be raised (the community must pledge 20% --a total of $34,000. to the 80% provided by UDOT). These funds could be in-kind—in the form of community labor or donations. Donations were asked for and many people volunteered time, materials and money. Significant donors were Parson’s Cement ($20,000), Gibbons and Reed (3,000), Wilkinson Construction (5,000) and county commissioner Mike McMillan ($1,000). Others pledged smaller amounts and the balance was paid by an anonymous donor. Some Relief Society sisters even enrolled in a flagging course, so they could direct traffic during the construction.
County officials gave the go ahead and oversaw the construction with the idea that costs would be paid by the grant and community matching funds. However, when the grant was awarded to Mountain Green and the supplies and volunteers were in place, there were significant delays with the contractor and significant cost overruns. Another community group led by MikeWasuita applied for a similar grant to pave the area by Dry Creek and had put in a bridge there with the funds. Because they ran into the same cost overruns due to the regulations UDOT required, it was agreed to apply the remaining funds on that grant to the original trail--to complete it.
Construction on the original project didn’t begin until 1998—five years after the project was originated. The asphalt path from east of Monte Verde to Old Farm Market was completed with two cement bridges with iron railings crossed over two creeks—all on federal road right of way. A short sidewalk section that is part of the subdivision at the bottom of the Highlands makes up part of the walkway. Brian Richards, as part of his Eagle Project, poured cement into the sidewalk landscaping area to enlarge the sidewalk for the walking path. The walking path has been there for fourteen years, and members of the community enjoy utilizing It has helped with safety issues by allowing everyone to walk a few feet inside the shoulder of the road—and not on the highway!
After 14 years of use, the first trail needs a coat of asphalt to help preserve the walking trail. The bridge railings are starting to rust and need painting. These repairs would be good Eagle projects—two, three, or more projects. The path resurfacing would probably take two evenings with people sweeping to prepare the trail and then when the asphalt was delivered, to use mops to spread the coat. If any prospective Eagle scouts or others that want to do a service project are interested, they can contact Brad Richards at 801-391-4910 for details.
The second walking path is one that Rulon Gardiner constructed as part of the Cottonwoods Subdivision. The original plat for the subdivision was registered with the county in 2004 and development started in 2005 or 2006. The path is ascetically pleasing and zigzags outside of the fences of the new houses. The path in this area is cement and the walking path also goes north up the hill (and turns into asphalt) to another phase of the cottonwoods subdivision. If you are walking, you can wind around the hillside to either the new subdivision or cross the road and head south again around the reservoir. Connie Alplanalp says the path around the reservoir is about a mile and the total walking path is about 3 miles—if you connect to the sidewalks in the upper Cottonwoods Subdivision.
This walking trail was part of the original proposal presented to the Morgan Co. Planning commission by Rulon Gardener Construction. It is representative of the kind of planning that adds to communities and is cognizant of community needs—exercise and safe outdoor trails. I have been on both these trails on the warmer than usual days this month. It is nice to have such pleasant places to walk!