By Brandi Makuski
Parks commissioners on Wednesday approved naming a new outdoor trail after the city’s outgoing park director.
The Schrader Connection, named for Parks Department Director Tom Schrader, is a former spur of CN railway, a 1.6-mile section of new trail begins at Bliss Ave. and travels south adjacent to Water St., crossing County Hwy. HH, and ending just inside the Village of Whiting. Stevens Point purchased the abandoned railroad property from CN last fall for about $160,000.
While it’s not officially part of the Green Circle Trail, Schrader said, the Friends of the Green Circle Trail will help groom the trail and celebrate its opening in the spring. Schrader helped create GCT years ago.
Mayor Mike Wiza and Councilwomen Tori Jennings and Heidi Oberstadt spoke in favor of naming the trailer after Schrader on Wednesday. A list of about a dozen other names had been submitted by the public, including the monikers “Rail Trail”, “Reid Rocheleau Memorial Trail” and “The Connection”. The latter was submitted by Schrader himself.
“It’s appropriate because Tom is all about connections,” Wiza said. “He has more connections than just about anybody in city government; he was able to accomplish all he has because of, in part, those connections.”
Schrader was visibly moved during the discussion and was quick to point out he was one of many people involved in making the city’s parks great.
“There were a lot of people involved in making our parks system so great, it’s so diverse I think it’s obvious a lot of different people were involved,” Schrader said. “This this is an honor.”
Schrader said the trail can be used for off-road bicycling, jogging, hiking, and cross-country skiing, among other activities.
The parks commission unanimously approved the new name, which is expected to obtain final approval at city council on March 18.