Representatives of a national planning and design group want to hear from area people who are interested in improving biking or hiking options along the Kansas Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway.
Residents of Barton and Stafford counties are invited to participate in public meetings this week regarding the future Kansas Byways Bike and Pedestrian Plan, said Cris Collier at the Great Bend Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Meetings are set for 3 p.m. Wednesday in the first-floor Conference Room at the Barton County Courthouse, and at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Board Room at St. John National Bank in Hudson.
The Wetlands & Wildlife scenic byway covers 77 miles that connect two of the world’s most significant natural wetlands — Cheyenne Bottoms in Barton County and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Stafford County. It is part of the state’s system of 11 national and Kansas scenic and historic byways.
A federal grant was secured by the Kansas Department of Transportation to develop a master bike and hike plan for the byways, Collier said. The goal of the plan is to make the byways more accommodating to bicyclists and pedestrians.
Representatives from the National Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway Steering Committee have already noted that the diversity, character and manageable length of the state’s byways make them especially attractive to non-motorized users. This means they also present significant economic opportunities for communities and regions along the byways.
RDG Planning & Design is developing the plan, and two members of RDG’s planning team will be riding the byway. Public participation will help them understand the biking and pedestrian needs in the area as well as the economic and tourism potential that improved services and facilities can offer.
“There might be someone with a great idea,” Collier said. Individuals are invited to share their knowledge of the area and offer insight to advance the study.
About RDG Planning & Design
RDG Planning & Design (www.rdgusa.com) is a diverse network of planning and design professionals, united to creatively influence life for the better through purpose-driven design. With major offices in Omaha and Des Moines, RDG offers professional services in architecture, landscape architecture, interior and lighting design, strategic planning, urban design, community and regional planning, and graphic design. The company has been serving clients since 1965 and has active projects in more than 25 states.