Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 23, 2016: A Letter to Friends of AHHP

The new path connecting the northern development with AHHP in the far northwest area of the park along the upland trail. 8/13/16 (Kevin Kane)

I write with a couple questions regarding the recent changes in AH along the upland trail.

I was away for several weeks and only yesterday noticed the new paved lane connecting the upland trail near the Circle with the development at Hayden's Crossing. The new paved lane extends south from private land to the park's existing dirt trail.

(There has been) great concern about the potential erosion at the site and the impact rainwater would have on the trail. It was also not clear ... if the park's dirt trail was going to be paved and if so, concern was expressed that if that were to happen, the consequent increase in speed biking would  negatively affect hikers, people with disabilities, and leisure bikers and walkers.

(We) looked at the paved path and how it merges with the existing trail and agreed ... that it did not look very good with regard to potential run-off and erosion. Even though a completely paved upland trail would be welcomed by many, the change would be substantial and completely change the current feeling of being in a truly natural setting.

Thanks so much for all you do.
Response from Keith Abraham, Dir. of Parks and Recreation
City of Ames

Thank you for passing on your concerns and comments!
In response to your comments and questions:

We do not have any intention of paving the Upland Trail. There are many walkers, hikers, runners, etc. who have expressed their desire to keep this trail as is. In conversation with the developers of Hayden's Crossing, and Quarry Estates, any trail connection within the park is to have the new material match the existing material. Joshua and I visited the site today and are sure they used asphalt millings which is what the Upland Trail is made of. The difference is these new millings appear to be smaller and have been compressed which makes the trail look like it has been paved. At the start of the path in Hayden's Crossing, the millings are 8+ inches thick yet they are very thin on the Upland Trail. As people use this section of the trail, the millings will get broken up and blend in with the current material. I was able to break up the millings on the trail fairly easily.

As for the erosion issues. It does appear there are erosion issues currently and this is causing sediment to deposit on the trail. We will be contacting Hunziker to get the sides of the path back filled, graded, and seeded to prevent further erosion.

The weeds in the middle of the path were sprayed as mowing and foot traffic wasn't controlling them very well.

I also want to echo Erv's comments regarding the Friends Group and the City working closely together in the best interest of the park. Erv and Jim Pease developed a management plan for Ada Hayden and has been a wonderful resource for us. We refer to it often as we determine what is needed at the park. We have had requests for multiple things (i.e. playgrounds, athletic fields, etc.) to be placed at Ada Hayden and continue to say no as that is not the intent of this park. We agree it will be an increasing challenge to keep it this way as more and more homes are developed and demands continue to come forth. Currently, City Council is very cognizant of the importance of Ada Hayden and the water shed area. This was evident listening to Council Member comments recently regarding the proposed Rose Prairie development in which Council did not approve the developer's request to build 700+ homes. We need to continue to work together to make sure Ada Hayden stays as it was intended.

If you have any further questions, please contact me. Have a great day!

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