As part of a $250,000 infrastructure package, Daviess County Parks Department parks are seeing a variety of maintenance and improvements to existing parks infrastructure.
Work is currently underway on the Sycamore Hill section of Panther Creek Park’s elevated trail, which runs from the park’s gazebo towards its back entrance.
“The Public Works Department, we did a review of all of the parks within our system and what came out of that review is that we are needing some routine maintenance on the elevated trails at Panther Creek Park,” County Engineer Mark Brasher said.
Brasher said railings, running boards and treads are what is being replaced on the section of trail being worked on, and it will serve as a test of sorts to see how much more of the elevated trail will be redone.
Daviess County Commissioner George Wathen likened Panther Creek Park’s elevated trail to being kind of like a maze that takes hikers up above the bottoms of Panther Creek.
“That is why we elevated it, because sometimes it floods,” Wathen said.
Commissioner Charlie Castlen said that by being elevated, the trail provides a good line of sight and offers a different perspective than just hiking along a traditional nature trail.
Castlen said that repairs have been done to the elevated trail in the past, but for the most part those were limited to a specific spot, such as where a tree might have come down and damaged a wooden board.
“This is a significant rehabilitation of this walk path,” Castlen said.
Castlen said there is consideration of putting another $250,000 towards infrastructure in the Fiscal Court’s next annual budget which would allow the elevated trail to be completely rehabilitated, and not in a piecemeal fashion.
Brasher said area residents should expect sections of Panther Creek Park’s elevated trail to be closed as for periods of time as work progresses.
In keeping with its shift in focus from capital improvement projects to maintenance at Daviess County Parks, other projects in the works include improvements to baseball/softball fields, resurfacing parking and park roads as well as converting existing tennis courts to pickleball courts at both Stanley and Yellow Creek parks.
“I am from Stanley originally myself and I have had people contact me that played pickleball out there on the old court and they wanted us to do some work on it,” Castlen said.
In addition to converting some basketball courts to pickleball courts, the project also involves resurfacing the park’s existing basketball courts.