In little more than a month, students and residents of Murray will have a new walking and biking trail to enjoy at Bee Creek Park.
The multi-use trail will be just under a mile and a half long, looping both the north and south ends of the park, and crossing at the bridge over Bee Creek. The 8-foot-wide path will go around the perimeter of the park’s 19 soccer fields.
Peyton Mastera, projects administrator for the City of Murray, said this project has been years in the making. Mastera has worked on the development of the trail in conjunction with Murray Transit Authority as well as Murray-Calloway County Parks and Recreation Department.
Mastera said the project received formal approval from the Murray City Council last Thursday, and construction is scheduled to begin Monday. The trail is scheduled to be completed within 30 days.
Robin Zhang, associate professor in the department of geosciences, has work on this project with her students for the better part of a year.
Zhang said her spring 2013 Land Planning class drafted a Bee Creek Scenic Trail plan for the city as a service-learning project. Her 26 students presented the work they had done at MSU Scholar’s Week to the mayor and to the city council. The city council approved a budget item for the first part of the project.
“The students worked hard, and the city’s implementation of the plan is the best reward we could hope for,” Zhang said. “For students at Murray State, it presents an example of how we can bring learning to life, while making a significant contribution to the community.”
Zhang said the trail will provide public green space and wildlife viewing areas for all to enjoy, promote healthier lifestyles and decrease the risk of pedestrian/cyclist-vehicle collision.
Tab Brockman, the park director of the Murray-Calloway County Parks and Recreation Department, has been a part of this project as it has developed over the past few months.
Brockman said he can not wait to see the new multi-use trail completed.
“It’s just going to be a great addition, not only to the park, but to the whole community,” he said.
He said the demand for walking trails has increased in the past few years, as more people have become concerned about fitness and health.
Brockman’s long-term vision for Murray is to have a multi-use trail surrounding the city. He believes that a walking/biking path around the city would be a great addition to Murray.
Said Brockman: “This project will really introduce Bee Creek to the whole community.”
Story by Kate Russell, Staff Writer