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The last of the public meetings / design workshops for the Flint Hills Nature Trail wrapped up on April 21st in Osage City. In all, four open meetings were held: February 20 in Ottawa, February 21 in Council Grove, March 10 in Osawatomie, and April 21 in Osage City.

The events allowed the public to learn about upcoming plans for development of the Flint Hills Nature Trail, and to offer their ideas and input. The trail has been in the process of development for many years, led by volunteers with the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy. In 2013, the Kansas Department of Transportation awarded a $1.5 million federal transportation enhancement grant to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to fund further trail development. An additional $900,000 in Recreational Trails grants were awarded by KDWPT, bringing the total to $2.4 million for Flint Hills Nature Trail development.

The design team of CFS Engineers and RDG Planning and Design led the public design workshops, along with personnel from KDWPT and the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy.

The Osage County News reported on the final meeting in Osage City:

Interested Osage City citizens and others from the Flint Hills Nature Trail region discuss plans for development of the trail with design team members of CFS Engineers and RDG Planning and Design.

State officials have said previously that work on the Flint Hills Nature Trail project should begin by fall of 2014.

According to Scott Allen, president of the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy, over 125 people attended the four design workshops, and offered valuable insight and local advice. Allen expects the engineers and consultants to finalize their plans by the end of May, and hopes to see work begin by mid to late summer.

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