M Trail dedicated

by: HOLLY M. GILL - Madras City Councilor Walt Chamberlain, center, prepares to cut the ribbon for the new 'M' trail - officially the Willow Creek to Madras Bike and Skate Park Trail - on Friday. City officials flank the trail, with trail walkers and bicyclists behind Chamberlain, an avid walker, who spoke about the trail.The city of Madras celebrated the completion of the "M Trail" — formally known as the Willow Creek to Madras Skate Park Trail — on May 31, with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Avid walker and Madras City Councilor Walt Chamberlain gave a short history of the project, which was first considered in 2009 by City Administrator Gus Burril, who was the public works director at the time, and Sara Puddy, now the assistant to the city administrator.

"This section of our trail is about 1.3 miles long and brings our Madras city trail to over five miles," said Chamberlain. "The goal is to create a 'loop' trail around and through Madras. The last planned piece will be to connect the bike and skate park to the new fishing pond."

The city paid for the project with grants totaling $469,000, including a Local Government Grant of $269,200, an Oregon Parks and Recreation grant of $129,800, and an Oregon Department of Transportation Quick Fix grant of $15,000.

The city paid $55,000 for the purchase of land, and supplied the labor, valued at $40,000.

Designed by Devco Engineering, of Bend, the project includes slopes ranging from 5 percent to 20 percent, Chamberlain pointed out, adding that it is the longest, and most expensive, section of the city's trail system.

Already, the trail section has become the city's most popular, said Chamberlain, who has counted as many as 50 people on the trail, which has "a beautiful viewpoint for us to appreciate our city."

"May it serve to foster the physical fitness and outdoor recreation opportunities for generations to come!" Chamberlain said.

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