City of Wichita officials on Thursday announced that the newly renovated K-96 bike path is open. The path, which runs between Oliver and Woodlawn along Chisholm Creek Park South, has been reconstructed to extend into the Great Plains Nature Center (GPNC). The bike path was originally constructed in the late 1990s.
The new path gives bicyclists and pedestrians a more enjoyable route to the park and Nature Center. The pause point allows bicycles to be locked and secured so patrons can visit the displays in the building and walk through the pedestrian-only nature area.
“Our expanded and renovated bike paths showcase a significant investment in quality of life from the community and the City of Wichita,” said Vice Mayor Lavonta Williams. “This is a great way for individuals and families to get outdoors, exercise and experience the beauty of Kansas at the Great Plains Nature Center.”
The path improvements were made possible through the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP), which provides grants to improve access to federally-owned properties. The USFWS, KDWPT and Wichita Park & Recreation Department collaborated to apply for the grant to renovate the bike path and two stone entry signs. The FLAP grant award was $938,518 with a City contribution of 20% ($234,630). Total project budget was $1,173,148.
The Nature Center sits on a federally owned parcel of land, and is a cooperative partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and the City of Wichita. Wichita Park & Recreation supports eight recreation centers, nine swimming pools, 52 athletic fields, five golf courses, six interactive fountains, numerous adult and youth-based activities and athletics programs and 2,407 acres of rights-of-way.