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Walking Trail OK'd in Morgan Co.

November 19, 2004|by TRISH RUDDER

trishr@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - A walking trail and wetlands restoration project around the Warm Springs middle and intermediate schools was approved by the Morgan County Board of Education on Tuesday evening.

Project coordinator Dustin Hancock, a volunteer with Potomac Headwaters Restoration Conservation and Development, told board members the total trail length is just less than one mile.

Hancock said a Federal Transportation Grant will allow the West Virginia Department of Transportation to complete the trail system, which will consist of a hard-surface portion and a rustic portion.

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The Eastern Panhandle Conservation District has pledged $7,000 for wetland restoration and plantings, he said.

The hard-surface trail will meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) criteria, he said. The loop around the wetlands area is about midway between the two schools and slopes will be less than 5 percent.

The Morgan County Master Gardeners want to plant native plants and use it as an outdoor classroom, he said. Mosquitoes will be controlled by introducing minnows that eat larva, he said.

The West Virginia Citizens Conservation Corps is clearing the rustic trail portion, which winds through the wooded area on the north end of the intermediate school. The rustic trail can be used by the track team and cross country runners or for hiking by teachers with students, said Hancock.

Board member Laura S. Smith said the project will be complete by spring and available for public use.

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