The Abilene community has the opportunity to volunteer and clean up the junk yard on South 5th as a progressive stepping stone in the Cedar Creek Waterway project this Saturday morning at 9 a.m.
The junk yard clean-up is part of the ongoing development of Cedar Creek Waterway and its vision to transform Abilene into an oasis of new recreational spaces and improve the quality of life.
The Cedar Creek Waterway project envisions a series of Abilene park spaces linked by hiking, biking, and jogging trails from Kirby Lake all the way to Fort Phantom. The project also involves a winding path of freshwater ponds, dams, waterfalls and fountains.
The Cedar Creek Waterway project intends to flourish the area with decks and patios, farmer’s markets, picnic areas, pavilions and restaurants. The waterway also plans to include activities such as kayaking, paddle boating, outdoor concerts and horseback riding.
ACU student Sara Bishop, sophomore animal science major from Longmont, Colo., has taken interest in the project.
“The Agriculture and Environmental Science Club has personally adopted a section of the Cedar Creek Waterway to take care of,” Bishop said. “Our hope is to improve the appearance of the location as well as care for the surrounding environment.”
Dr. James Cooke, environmental science professor at ACU, is also a major contributor in motivating people to become interested in the nature Abilene has to offer.
“My interest in the the project is to help people realize the beauty of Abilene and the livability and quality of life that we could have,” Cooke said.
To some Abilene is thought to be hot, dusty, flat and boring. But Cedar Creek Waterway may change this perception. Its recreational and health benefits, small business opportunities, restaurants and outdoor facilities would highlight the true beauty the city has to offer.
“Once you go down there and look at it, you are going to see the vision,” Cooke said. “You’re going to understand the beauty of it.”
Abilene is a growing city and this project is a way for the community to be involved in its development .
“This project allows students to give back to the community they live in,” Bishop said. “It helps them appreciate where they live and the beauty of Abilene.”
The project is still in its early stages, but the end result will produce beneficial, economic developments, health and recreational value and a community that is building towards a higher quality of life.
“This is kind of like planting trees,” Cooke said. “In my life time, I benefitted from the trees that were planted by people that came before me. And in my life time, I have planted trees that will benefit the people who come after me. And this is a project 50 years from now that people will be saying, ‘Can you imagine Abilene without Cedar Creek Waterway?’ “