Archive for Thursday, November 4, 2004

New city park retains family’s ties to Lansing

November 4, 2004

It's been 30 years since Cathy Carnahan Nichols moved away from Lansing, but she still considers it home.

Her family's local history dates to 1854, and although she now lives in Camden, S.C., she's proud her roots are here.

Nichols returned to Lansing on Oct. 28 to take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that would ensure her family's permanent place in Lansing lore with the opening of Kelly Grove Trail.

Located one block east of Main Street/Kansas Highway 7 on Gilman Road, Kelly Grove Trail is the city's newest park.

Nichols said she was proud to see that Lansing was growing quickly, with new neighborhoods popping up all over town.

"I hope it grows to be the perfect size and continues to be a perfect place to live," she said.

Development is important, she said, but she also said it was important to maintain areas for natural wildlife to flourish. That will happen at the park.

"It's important now more than ever that nature be preserved so people can see the birds and hear the trees," she said. "It's important to recognize the farming history and nature history of this area."

The property has plenty of opportunities to experience nature - 15 acres worth, in fact. So far it consists of a .84-mile nature trail that winds through thousands of trees and too many good views to count.

"Our goal and the family's goal is to keep it real nature-oriented," said Jason Crum, parks and recreation director. "There is not going to be much infrastructure on it. It's mainly going to be nature."

Crum said there were plans to develop the lower section of the park with additional trail expansion. He said the expansion was tentatively slated for March 2005, when members of the community would be asked to come help clear additional trail space.

Generations of Nichols' family enjoyed the wildlife that has thrived on the land for at least the past 150 years and wanted to share it with the community.

The property was first owned and farmed by Nichols' great-great-grandfather, Joseph Kelly. Later he passed it on to Gladys Kelly Paul Carnahan - Nichols' grandmother. When Gladys Kelly Paul Carnahan passed away in 1993, most of the land was sold but a portion was deeded to the city in Kelly's memory.

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