Thursday, January 30, 2014

Shawnee Creek: The Path No Longer Travelled

Jim Kinnamon of Shawnee Proud, Pott. County Strong gave us an inspiring presentation of his vision for Shawnee Creek. With Mayor Mainord, Commissioner Harrod and representation from the City Planning Department present, we heard about the history of this forgotten area of Shawnee and how we might envision it's future.

Mr. Kinnamon described waterfalls, flocks of turkeys, wooded areas and beauty places of all kinds along the railroad tracks between the Shawnee Mall and downtown. "Why do people travel to Arkansas when they have something like this here?" Jim asked the audience. Much of the creek and the adjacent "Old Katy Line" was long ago abandoned by the railroad but much clean up is required to make the area accessible to the community. "I'd like to see mountain bike and walking trails along with recreational areas for everyone to use. What's holding us back is the fact that many residents use the creek to dump trash and the need for money to do proper clean up. We have the volunteers but the cost of renting the clearing equipment is $863/day." He is in talks with the Avedis Foundation and others to find the money to get the work done. "The City of Shawnee has been a great partner but they can't do everything. We need to do our part, too."

Sustainable Shawnee will be organizing a walk in March for its members and interested parties to join Mr. Kinnamon to see all that Shawnee Creek has to offer. The date is not yet set but will be advertised. "Shawnee has a great deal more to offer than we are presently enjoying," said Shawna Turner, President of Sustainable Shawnee. "We look forward to working with Jim and the City of Shawnee to make our community a more attractive and healthier place to live."

Jim concluded his talk by saying, "We have big dreams but we have to start somewhere." Indeed. Thanks to Jim and the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce for providing the AV equipment for the meeting. More to come....

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