ASHLAND — Ashland county officials unveiled the first phase of the future Corner Park Trail late last week.
The Ashland County Commissioners, led by Jim Justice, were joined by donors, volunteers and the City of Ashland mayor and councilmen last Friday morning to celebrate the park’s newly renovated pedestrian bridge.
The commissioners had been approached by Mayor Matt Miller in 2018, regarding the county-owned portion of the city’s future Center Run Trail -- the stretch adjacent to the county's Corner Park and along the north parking lot of Center Run Creek.
Due to a steady increase of county citizens utilizing one of the city's most visible landmarks, the commissioners wanted to move forward with revitalizing the area. They assigned Ashland County business administrator Erin Collins and Ashland County maintenance supervisor Dennis Harris to partner with area businesses and volunteers to design and fund the county project, dubbed Corner Park Trail.
Then, Justice, Collins and Harris decided to take it a step further and start with updating the pedestrian bridge railings that connect the county and city parking lots, painting the guard rails and cleaning up the creek.
“We did put their (the city’s) logo with ours to show the progress we’ve made here by cooperating with one another,” Justice said.
He thanked all the donors who gave funding or their time for the project, as this wasn’t something the county could cover with its general fund, Justice explained.
John Hall was the first financial donor and also helped organize the Grace Church volunteers to clean up the creek.
Two Harris Welding employees also had substantial roles in the project. David Gray came out of retirement to build the railings while Casey Kline designed the city and county logos displayed on the east side of the railing.
Sherwin Williams donated the paint for the guard rails. Misty Miller organized Ashland Board of Realtors volunteers to help paint the guard rails. Simonson Construction donated their services to transport and install the bridge railings.
The Ashland Board of Realtors awarded a $5,000 grant for the project ,and First Knox Bank, a division of Park National, contributed $5,890.
Phase II is estimated at $80,000 and will include a LED-lit pedestrian path that connects to Corner Park and is framed with green space and seating. Collins and Harris can be reached at 419.282.4254 for those interested in donating or learning more about the project.