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Wells County Trails is excited about what 2020 has in store. We have recently had elections and our executive committee and board of directors are as follows:


Michael Lautzenehiser, Jr. - Wells County Area Plan Commission - President

Bruce Golder - Citizen Member - Vice President

Pam Vanderkolk - Bluffton Parks Department - Secretary

Cory Mann - Citizen Member - Treasurer

Blake Gerber - Wells County Commissioners

Vicki Andrews - Wells County Council

John Whicker - City of Bluffton Mayor

Erika Allison - Town of Ossian Clerk-Treasurer

Luan Martin - Town of Ossian Town Manager

Tammy Slater - Wells County Foundation

Nick Huffman - Citizen Member

Doug Sundling - Citizen Member​


This is a good moment to restate what Wells County Trails is all about.


VISION

Providing starting points and destinations, connecting people and places one trail at a time throughout Wells County and beyond!

MISSION STATEMENT

Wells County Trails, Inc. is a registered corporation in the State of Indiana and is in the process of becoming part of Wells County Revitalization's 501c3 orginization. Our mission is to collaborate with local government agencies and citizens to develop a cohesive network of multipurpose trails throughout Wells County, Indiana.


GOALS

Promote Our Existing Trail Network

1. promote existing trail-related events

2. look into creating new trail-related events

Improve Our Existing Trail Network

1. review trail accessibility issues

2. create a priority list for resolving these accessibility issues

3. map and publicize list

4. complete preliminary engineering to determine possible solutions for priority improvements

5. fundraising for trail improvements (Local Government Funds, Grants, Foundation, and Private Sources)

Expanding Our Trail Network

1. review potential trail expansion opportunities

2. create a priority list for the potential trail expansions

3. map and publicize list

4. Complete preliminary engineering to determine the feasibility of the trail expansions

5. fundraising for trail improvements (Local Government Funds, Grants, Foundation, and Private Sources)


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Our local Bluffton Kayak and Hiking Club went out to enjoy the natural trails at the Acres Along the Wabash nature preserve. It is located between Bluffton and Markle on SR 116. The nature preserve is open to the public and is operated by Acres Land Trust. https://www.acreslandtrust.org/preserve/acres-along-the-wabash/ If you haven't taken a hike here you are missing out. Check out Bluffton Kayak and Hiking Club on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2322946824588022/

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To many people trails are places for people to exercise and recreate. Yes, many people use trails for that purpose and we love that this happens across our community! However, in one photo a whole other need for trails comes into focus. Why would the Interurban Trail in Bluffton, Indiana be full of foot prints early in the morning after a nasty snow storm? Its not from a family taking an fun evening walk. It is from someone who needed the trail as mode of transportation. One of the great things about Bluffton's trail system is connects people to places. Someone could walk on the trail at anytime and get to work. They could also get something to eat or go to the grocery. That is the practical side of trails. Trails give people a safe place to walk, run, or bike. Many times it is these trail users who before the trail was built were creating their own paths through yards and parking lots trying to stay off the road. When we are trying to develop trails we should always make sure that trails are connecting people to places they need to go. This mind set will increase a trail's value significantly as well as increase the quality of life for those who desperately need them.

WELLS COUNTY TRAILS - VISION

Providing starting points and destinations, connecting people and places one trail at a time throughout Wells County and beyond!


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