September 27, 2021 - Today, Mayor Tom Henry joined Fort Wayne Trails, Concordia Theological Seminary, residents and business owners, along with the City’s Public Works Division, for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the second phase of Beckett’s Run Trail, which is a 1.8 mile section of trail between Martin Luther Drive and Clinton Street.
This section of the five-phase project is an investment of $824,984 and includes a trailhead parking lot for the public located off Martin Luther Drive on the southeast side of Concordia Theological Seminary’s campus. The Seminary donated a trail easement and an easement for the trailhead parking lot. The trail also includes two large culvert crossings at the Wabash & Erie Feeder Canal, a bridge crossing Beckett’s Run creek, five park benches and hand railing.
The trail directly connects Jacobs Creek Community Association and North Pointe Ridge Community Association with the 26-mile Rivergreenway, including nearby Shoaff Park. Along with Concordia Theological Seminary, the following neighborhoods are also connected indirectly via sidewalks to the new trail: Concordia Gardens, North Pointe Woods, Canyons of North Pointe Woods and The Coves of Jacobs Creek.
The Beckett’s Run Trail will be 5.23 miles long when completed, and will connect the Rivergreenway at St. Joe Center Road/St. Joe River with the Pufferbelly Trail at Salomon Farm, forming a 17-mile loop in our trail network. The remaining three phases are expected to be completed within the next ten years.
“Trails play an integral role in our community. It’s imperative that we continue to make even more investments and grow our trails system,” said Mayor Henry. “I’m encouraged by the ongoing use and support of the trails. It’s a top quality of life amenity that we offer to help keep residents and businesses and gain new individuals, families and employers.”
This fall, 140 trees and 16 shrubs will be planted along the trail. A portion of the trees will be planted during the Great Tree Canopy Comeback. A federal grant will provide at least $12,000 in funding for the tree planting. In the fall of 2020, AEP donated four evergreens that were planted along the trail and the City of Fort Wayne planted another ten trees along the trail by Clinton Street.
“This trail offers beautiful scenery with numerous wetland areas and a variety of flora and fauna,” said Greenways & Trails Manager Dawn Ritchie. “It’s truly a linear park that we’re anticipating will be one of the most loved trails in Fort Wayne.”
Pre-trail construction work and donated easements for this project saved the taxpayers more than $250,000. Jacobs Creek Community Association donated a trail easement. AEP donated an easement for the trail and prepared the north/south section of the trail corridor for trail construction during their Powering Up Central Transmission project in 2017 by clearing vegetation and constructing a gravel construction road that was used for the trail sub base. City Utilities secured trail easements with their Beckett’s Run Sewer Interceptor project, helped pay for the bridge over Beckett’s Run, and will provide some funds for this fall’s tree planting.
With the addition of the 1.8 miles of Beckett’s Run, there are now 125.8 miles of trails in the Fort Wayne Area Trails Network and just over 95 miles of City trails.