LaHarpe digs new pump track

Volunteers gather to build new track for bicycling enthusiasts over the weekend. The project was made possible by a grant and a fundraising drive.



October 12, 2020 - 10:21 AM

Volunteers started work Saturday to place a new pump track for bicycles at the LaHarpe City Park. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

LAHARPE — The first of a number of community projects kicked off over the weekend, with a team of volunteers gathering to help build a new pump track for bicycling enthusiasts.

The group worked at the LaHarpe City Park Saturday and Sunday to mold an elaborate series of berms, rollers and tabletop fixtures, all made out of dirt.

By Sunday afternoon, the entire track was laid, with most of the remaining work centered on contouring and compacting the dirt.

Once complete — one or two more work days will soon be scheduled — the track is geared to become a popular destination for cyclists of varying skill levels.

Volunteers started work Saturday to place a new pump track for bicycles at the LaHarpe City Park. Among the volunteers was Ben Alexander, owner of Southwind Cycle and Outdoors, shown here using a skid steer to help move several piles of dirt for the track.Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

There have been several hands in helping turn the track into reality, made possible from a People For Bikes grant, as well as a recent “In Our Backyard” fund drive that also helped pay for the 2019 LaHarpe Days Celebration and new benches at the park. Upcoming projects include installing a new water fountain and replacing the softball diamond’s backstop.

Others who have assisted with the work are Ben Alexander, owner of Southwind Cycle and Outdoors, Nelson Quarries, which donated much of the dirt for the work, Mike Hedmon, LaHarpe city superintendent who offered use of his equipment to help shape and move the tons of dirt, Marc Waggoner Jr. of the LaHarpe Rural Volunteer Fire Department, who sprayed down much of the track periodically to help keep the dirt compacted, as well as other volunteers and cycling enthusiasts.

ON TOP of the pump track work, LaHarpe PRIDE members are organizing the annual community clean-up day, set for Oct. 24.

Volunteers will canvass the city to help residents in need clear their yards of trash, brush or other refuse.

This year’s work will be aided by LaHarpe City employees, who will help haul off the refuse in the days after the yards are cleaned.

In order to be added to the list of yards to be cleaned, residents are asked to call LaHarpe city offices at (620) 496-2411, or Thrive Allen County, 365-8128. Prospective volunteers are asked to reach out to a LaHarpe PRIDE member or call City Hall.

MEANWHILE, Elaine Stewart, LaHarpe’s new wellness coordinator, has a number of upcoming endeavors in the works.

Stewart is coordinating “The Great Weight Loss Challenge” starting Oct. 19.

Any Allen County resident is invited to partake in the six-week project. There will be healthy eating tips and fitness information provided weekly, with use of the fitness center at City Hall encouraged. Confidential weigh-ins will be offered as well.

The organizational meeting is at 6 p.m. Oct. 19 at City Hall to determine future meeting times and activities.

A LUNCH and Learn series offered by Wanda Kneen will focus on “Managing Fear and Anxiety in Day to Day Living” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at City Hall.

Kneen is program director for Senior Life Solutions at Allen County Regional Hospital. The program is open to all Allen Countians.

ALSO on Oct. 27, LaHarpe will offer an evening of line dancing at the City Hall gymnasium.

D.J. Scotty Lee and Music Max D.J. Entertainment will provide the music from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

The event is open to anyone, even if they are unfamiliar with line dancing.

JOY MILLER, of K-State Research and Extension will be at LaHarpe City Hall Nov. 12 to discuss Medicare and Marketplace Assistance.

Medicare enrollment begins Thursday and runs through Dec. 7. Marketplace enrollment for health insurance runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 15.

Miller is certified as a Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SCHICK) for Medicare and an assistant for Marketplace Health Insurance.

For an in-person appointment, contact Miller at (620) 223-3720, or email to [email protected]



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