Batavia Township opens walking trail

With operations already moving at a smooth clip in the new township building, the Batavia Township park has tallied up a new first. As the first phase of development draws to a close, the township has unveiled the first step towards creating a park filled with things for residents to do.

“What we’ve got is a quarter mile walking track,” said Batavia Township Administrator Rex Parsons. “This will be a park, and this is the first step, having the track around the township building. It goes by the pond. We’ve ordered garbage cans and benches that will be placed along the trail in case someone wants to relax. It’s paved and eight feet wide.”

“We’re hoping that the public will stop in and use it,” added Parsons. “It’s open to the public, and it’s built for the public.”

The track took a couple of weeks to build and is now going through the grass seeding process, but, the path is available for use. In fact, Parsons said that it saw some activity almost immediately.

“We’re excited, it’s a first step,” said Parsons. “We want to see the public come out, and as a matter of fact, they put it down and within the first hour there was a lady out here walking on it. It was amazing. We’ve had a few people come over here to use it. It’s good to see people come out and use the facility.”

The trustees purchased land for park use last year, and have looked at several options for development of the land. Currently, the park consists mainly of vacant land around the new township hall. However, some amenities to be built later could include a number of athletic fields, as well as nature preserves. An open field is currently available with soccer goals for practices, as well as other sunny-day activities.

“This is phase one, and phase two will involve a picnic shelter that will be a loop off the trail,” said Parsons. “It may include picnic tables and grills and maybe even a playground area for kids. We have the field mowed and is available for people to come and use for soccer, football, flying kites, whatever. If they just want to run and play in the grass, they can too. There are about seven phases to the plan, which will eventually see things like softball and baseball fields as well as soccer fields and footballs and walking paths.”

Parsons said that the vision was to create a park for various tastes. With over 70 acres to play with, Parsons said that several areas will be only mildly developed, allowing for nature lovers to get their fix as well.

“There will be some passive areas where you can walk through the woods and relax,” said Parsons. “It’s not necessarily for exercise like this path. It will be a chance to witness nature. The trails won’t be improved as far as blacktop, but they will be natural and passable.”

A formal opening ceremony will be held on July 16 at the township hall. A ribbon cutting at 6 p.m. will be followed by an open house. At 7 p.m., a short ceremony will kick off festivities, which includes a big band concert by the Clermont Philharmonic.