Improvements at Thurow Park will continue with the help of a grant

Improvements to what the city parks director, Paul Lewis, calls "an underserved area" will continue with the help of a grant awarded to the city from the Sunflower Foundation.

The grant will award up to $30,000 of matching funds to construct a 3500 feet long, 10-foot wide asphalt trail around the perimeter of Thurow Park at Military Street and Avenue L. The project is estimated to cost $55,000. The remaining balance could come from a private corporate partner that has yet to be named, but Lewis said is genuinely interested, or from the city's capital improvement fund.

"This new project will replace an existing trail in Thurow Park that is deteriorating, narrow and limited in length," city officials wrote in the application. Through conversations with residents, the city identified a number of improvements that could be made to the park, including a walking path that could serve as a primary amenity in the park.

The proposed trail will be a half-mile loop, but will also eventually connect with the city's major trail system.

If approved by the City Commission, construction can begin in the spring, Lewis said, and be completed by summer.

"It'll be a nice project in the park that will make a difference," Lewis said.

Last year, a new playground with rubber safety surfacing was installed at the park and the city will continue to add trees. The parks department is developing a master plan for the park, including repairs, but it has not yet been finalized.

Sunflower Foundation grants are awarded annually. This year was the first year the city applied for the grant.