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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Community excitement builds around Monon South Trail

BEDFORD, Ind. (June 13, 2023) – Large crowds totaling nearly 150 people attended Southern Indiana Trailways’s (SIT) public kick-off meetings in Orleans and Salem in late May and early June. The trail support organization and its partners invited community members to attend sessions to introduce them to the Monon South Trail project and involve them in the trail development process.


Photo: Orleans residents Carol Steward and Sandy Kendall are excited about the South Monon Trail project



SIT, a nonprofit organization established by Radius Indiana to implement and manage the Monon South project, co-hosted the events along with its design partner Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group (TSW), and lead engineering firm Clark Dietz. These meetings allowed community members to learn about the development of the trail and provide feedback to the design team for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build the longest recreational trail in Indiana.


Photo: The South Monon Trail will be a asset to the Mitchell Community, the rails have been removed from Mitchell to New Albany to make way for the trail


“It was great to see so many regional residents attend these meetings and provide thoughtful insight about the design and planning of the trail,” said Jeff Quyle, president of Radius. “This is a community-focused project to improve the quality of life and economy of our regional communities and we care about their questions and opinions.”


Photo: The meeting in Salem Indiana was well attended

Andrea Ireland, project specialist for the National Park Service (NPS), presented to attendees in Orleans to provide insight into how she and NPS will be involved throughout the process and shared her excitement for the project. In March 2022, SIT applied to the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program of the NPS and received funding approval in May of that year. The grant is a non-cash grant that provides technical assistance and personnel to assist SIT as it develops the organizational capacity to lead community engagement with the Monon South Trail project.


Illustrating the economic potential that the Trail is expected to unleash, a Salem meeting attendee discussed becoming an entrepreneur while he shared his interest in starting a new business to cater to the needs of trail travelers. The meeting also introduced many attendees to Salem’s Depot Railroad Museum, whose presentation of Monon rail historical items and memorabilia evokes the glory of the railroad era in southern Indiana.



“The project team was delighted by the turnout and excitement at the Monon South Trail public kickoff meetings. Engaging with the communities and future users of the trail will be a priority during the life of the project,” said Ryan Hughes, project engineer at Clark Dietz. “We were able to share more details about the design process and begin collecting ideas for how to build a trail that benefits all users.”


Community members will have a second opportunity to engage with the project later this month at the Monon South Community Workshops. These meetings will allow attendees to hear directly from TSW and discuss how each community connects to the trail, community desires for access and/or trailhead amenities and a discussion on the preliminary design standards for the project.



Community Workshops are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, June 21 (Orleans)

Orleans Jr. and Sr. High School Cafeteria

200 W. Wilson St. Orleans, IN 47452

1 - 4 p.m.

  • Thursday, June 22 (Borden and New Pekin)

Borden Museum

101 E. Main St. Borden, IN 47106

1 - 4 p.m.

  • Wednesday, June 28 (Mitchell)

Monon on Main Event Center

515 W. Main St. Mitchell, IN 47446

1 - 4 p.m.


  • Thursday, June 29 (Salem, Saltillo, and Campbellsburg)

The Depot Railroad Museum

206 S. College Ave. Salem, IN 46167

1 - 4 p.m.


For more information on the trail meetings or to view previous meeting presentations and digital design materials, visit www.southernindianatrailways.org.


For breaking news, news and information go to lczephyr.org or like/follow the Lawrence County Zephyr Facebook page.


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