The Urbana Parks Foundation’s (UPF) recent funds distribution to the Urbana Park District earmarked nearly $35,000 of unrestricted funds to the Urbana Park District (UPD) to support the build-out of a trailhead in Weaver Park. The trailhead will become the prominent Urbana launch point for the Kickapoo Rail Trail (KRT).
An event to kick-off the trailhead took place as part of the UPD’s broader Bike Month Celebration events and activities on Wednesday, May 23rd. Over 140 people attended the celebration, which included exhibits from 13 bikes groups, a food truck, and a live band. You can view photos from the event on the UPF Facebook page.
Weaver Park is a 60-acre park that includes soft trails through the prairie, a woodland which is a remnant of what was here when the area was settled hundreds of years ago, and also includes a wetland that serves as habitat for a variety of wildlife.
Weaver Park is a natural welcome location for the Urbana launch point for the KRT. It has been a goal of the District and KRT partnering agencies to develop Weaver Park into Urbana’s trailhead. With the funds provided by UPF, the first phase of the trailhead buildout will occur much earlier than the District anticipated.
Initial trailhead amenities will include a parking lot with approximately 27 spaces (two of which are reserved for handicap parking), five racks to accommodate ten bicycles, a bicycle service station for emergency repairs, and an informational kiosk to provide both KRT and Urbana Park District information. Ground is already being prepared for the parking lot, and pending cooperative weather it will be in place this summer. The parking lot will come first and other amenities will be added later.
The Urbana Park District is already looking towards a second phase of the trailhead buildout which will include improved amenities for Weaver Park. These improvements will include increased parking capacity to support large events, pavilions and picnic areas, restrooms and drinking fountains.
The Foundation was established to help meet the growing need for supplemental support by raising funds for UPD activities. It seeks donations from people and organizations who appreciate the value of parks and programs not just for their immediate esthetic or environmental value, but for the impact they can have on future generations.
The biannual funds distributions are part of the Foundations regular financial support of the District, and meets their broader mission to strengthen the the local park system and enhance the health and vibrancy of the community. Since its creation in 2007, the Urbana Parks Foundation has provided more than $246,000 in support for the District. Urbana parks are a resource for everyone. Whether you live in Urbana or a surrounding community, make a positive impact on Urbana’s parks now and in the future by donating today. For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.urbanaparksfoundation.org.