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Board of Directors

Barry Dupen, president

Mark Scrafton, vice president

Eric Blank, secretary

Karla Barnhart, treasurer

Wayne Engdahl

Trail Support

Trail Donors

The following donors have contributed at least $1000 towards construction of the Eel River Trail.

Other donors include

Testimonials from Whitley County Residents

Mark Rickerd, Guidance Counselor, Whitko High School: "As a family with young children, we have found that riding bikes together provides exercise and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.. Unfortunately, there are no safe places to ride in town with children. We are echoing the sentiments of many other families in our area when we say that we are thrilled at the prospect of a bike path upon which we may enjoy a safe ride with our family."

Greg Fahl, co-owner of Orizon Real Estate, Inc.: "Development of Communities has a great deal to do with quality of life opportunities that are available to people and companies searching for new locations. The recreational and health benefits that the Eel River Trail could provide would complement our existing parks and trails as well as support Governor Daniel's goal of more fit and healthier communities."

Linda Scott: "As a 6 time lymphoma cancer survivor, my oncologist always stresses the importance of exercise. The Eel River Trail will provide an opportunity to meditate as nature surrounds me on my stroll. The sound of water flowing beside me and the sounds of the birds would be like the Great Spirit surrounding and talking to me. Recently, I celebrated my 68th birthday. When I talked with my son, he wished be a great birthday. I asked him if he was going to sing to me, and he replied that he doesn't sing well. I said, "but nobody sang to me today." He replied, "The birds have been singing to you all day." That just about sums up the reason to have a peaceful place to walk and listen to nature!"

Nancy Reiff: "Exercise and travel have always been important to our family. When our children were young, we chose vacation spots where we knew all of us could hike and ride bicycles. Our first trip was to the beautiful Fox River Valley in Illinois, which offered 25 miles of scenic trails. These very trails in Illinois today, 20 years later, offer 200 miles of recreation. Our community dream, to add distance to the Eel River Trail, is close to becoming a reality. The trail addition will provide limitless opportunity for healthy activity to anyone in our community."

John Dunn, on behalf of the South Whitley Town Council: "We, the South Whitley Town Council, are in favor of the building of the Eel River Greenway from South Whitley to Columbia City. This would provide for a peaceful and safe place for exercise through the countryside in Whitley County."

Dr's. Jamie & Lori Kirgis, Doctors of Chiropractic: "With the growing concern of poor health and the cost of medical bills these days, Dr. Lori and I both believe that it is only prudent for any community to engage in any type of physical activity possible. The Eel River Greenway will allow for everyone to stroll, walk, run, and bike throughout the community and surrounding areas. The Eel River Trail has the opportunity to bring communities together in a common goal of simply enjoying their lives and being healthy."

Staci Beiswanger: "The thought of the Eel River Trail becoming a reality excites me! Being an avid runner in the Whitley county area, I find myself running on busy, unsafe county roads. This trail would provide a therapeutic, relaxing, and peaceful running environment. I envision the trail being used by runners to organize running groups, or as a training route. As a former resident of Allen County, our family spent countless hours biking their River Greenway. Their greenway provided inexpensive, enjoyable entertainment for our family of three. We have many fond memories of the hours we spent together."

Chuck Jones: "Quality of Life is important for many people when choosing a community and a bike and hiking greenway would give us a plus over communities that do not have that to offer."

Holly Schrader: "Having a bike/running trail right here in Whitley County would mean a local, safe trail that our family could use and not have to battle traffic on busy county roads. I also understand that the location of the trail would need to be healthy for all those involved in the project."

Tim Hearld, President of Synergid Commercial, Inc.: "In the summer months I work with over 30 kids and parents in a local run club. We use the current trail that runs from Morsches Park to Main Street. The kids and parents alike enjoy the benefits of the shaded trail on those hot summer afternoons as well as the beauty the river and landscape give us as we run. Any additions to the trail system would be great to expand our running distance and scenery."

Mindy Meyer: "As a person who likes to exercise outside I would LOVE to see a bike trail from Col. City to S. Whitley. It would be nice to have a safe place to be able to jog, walk, bike, rollerblade,e tc with your kids and not have to worry about motor vehicles going to fast by you. It's definitely something that would get a lot of use."

George Roth, Principal, South Whitley Elementary (retired): "I look forward to the completion of the new bike trail because it will mean one more great thing for families to do in Whitley County. Riding the greenway will give families another great healthy activity to do together."

Bobby Hursey: "I support the Eel River Trail project because it provides a safe place for future generations, like my granddaughter, Claire, to enjoy the outdoors."

Dr. Jeffrey Gladd, MD: "The benefits of being an active family have to be weighed against the risk of being struck by a car on a county road. Having a local trail system eliminates that decision and provides a lifetime of good health with my loved ones".

Terry Eberly: " My family and I enjoy riding bikes together in the town of South Whitley. Having a South Whitley to Columbia City bike trail will add an exciting new dimension to our bicycle outings."

Rachael LePage, Guidance Counselor, Whitko High School: "I think having a bike path in South Whitley's a great idea; providing a place and encouraging our students and community in physical fitness."

Debra Brice: "As a paramedic I've cared for many people who gave no thought to their health until far too late in their life, resulting in chronic and debilitating diseases and limitations. Therefore, I think it is so important that people strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle from a young age. Exercise is one component of a healthy lifestyle. I am excited at the prospect of the development of the Eel River Trail. Also as a paramedic I've seen considerable injury and even loss of life when a pedestrian or cyclist is struck while using our roadways for exercise. The Eel River Trail will offer a safe place to exercise well away from the dangers of motor traffic. I look forward to the solitude and tranquility that will be found on a trail that is maintained separately from motor vehicles, creating a safe, quiet environment for maintaining both physical and spiritual health."

The Bollinger family: "The Blue River trail is a great addition to our community. The trail provides an enjoyable, safe, and scenic route for our family to run, bike, or walk. We believe that the Eel River Trail expansion would make Whitley County an even better place to live."