Reader believes Great Rivers Greenway should be ‘responsible’


To the editor:

The April 26 edition of the Call had an article about the opening of the expansion of Cliff Cave trail in Oakville. After reading the article, I concluded that the trail must be paved with gold.

I was shocked to read that the 2-mile expansion cost $4.3 million. That is over $2 million per mile.

The author of the article seems to go to great lengths to explain all the amenities of the expansion, convincing the public that the money was well spent.

First, the “expanded greenway makes it possible for people of all ages and abilities” — whatever that means — “to explore and enjoy the upper and lower sections of the park and provides two new connections … to access the park.”

Next, people can walk, ride a bike, use a stroller or a wheelchair. Is any of this new to the park?

I ask that question because I have not used Cliff Cave trail.

If these modes of transportation are new, then possibly the expense is warranted.

Thirdly, a new scenic overlook along the Mississippi River is provided, and a new parking lot is provided and new restrooms.

A 210-foot pedestrian bridge has been installed over Cliff Cave Road. Just what is the purpose of the bridge — just to connect residents to the scenic overlook?   

Also, a new 70-foot bridge means that users can cross over a creek.

Next, seating is provided to rest. I assume these are benches — what are these benches made of, and how many are there along a 2-mile trail? Seems to be extravagant.

Another added feature is more than a thousand trees, shrubs and flowers have been planted.

When reading that I thought, “More than a thousand!” That sounds like overkill.

The Great Rivers Greenway CEO, Susan Trautman, really wants to impress on the public that the $4.3 million was spent wisely by stating “from the soaring bluffs to the breathtaking views of the Mississippi, Cliff Cave’s beauty is more accessible for all to explore and enjoy.”

I think the taxpayers who provide the money to Great Rivers Greenway deserve to have their hard-earned money be spent prudently and wisely.

It seems the organization thinks there is a bottomless pit of money available.

We need responsible people to spend our tax money.

I might add that I am not opposed to park renovation.

I use Grant’s Trail daily and go to other parks.

Ann Ludlow

Sunset Hills

Editor’s note: The trails at Cliff Cave County Park were previously unpaved and inaccesssible to people in wheelchairs and strollers.

The 210-foot pedestrian bridge connects all three legs of the trail so that users from Telegraph Road and the Cliff Cave branches can access all parts of the trail.

The 70-foot bridge allows trail users to get close enough to see the actual Cliff Cave, which is blocked off with fences.

The benches along the path are concrete. Great Rivers Greenway planted more trees than it cut down to make way for the trail.

The new trail was built in the style of Grant’s Trail, which is also funded by Great Rivers Greenway.