WEATHERFORD — A first step that’s eight-tenths of a mile lengthy had its large reveal at Chandor Gardens on Friday with the opening of Chandor Nature Trail.
“You’ve got to be one with nature and the beauty of it all, really,” Ann Towles mentioned, standing beside fellow Weatherford resident Destiny Fry and Fry’s almost 2-year-old son, Waylon Bowens. “She goes walking a lot, and that’s something I’d be interested to do. So, we came to check it out.”
The buddies had joined about 75 Chandor supporters to chop the ribbon on a mountain climbing path that meanders into the 13 undeveloped acres at the 16-acre former residence to artists Douglas and Ina Chandor.
“It’s a small slice of wilderness in the heart of Weatherford,” Chandor Gardens Foundation President Eileen Leslie informed the group shortly earlier than inviting members to christen the path. “This is just a beginning, a wonderful beginning.”
Surrounded by chamber of commerce representatives, Leslie thanked members of the public-private partnership that produced the path.
Those included the Native Plant Society, which she mentioned “really stepped up to the plate,” and Boy Scout Troop 76 which hauled off “tons of brush … on the most scorching hot day that Texas has ever seen.”
She additionally emphasised that the path entrance, with enormous flagstone steps downward to a gateway, is consistent with Douglas Chandor’s aesthetics.
“That might have been part of his vision,” she mentioned. “The stairs have been designed so that they mirror and transition into the property.”
Jaycob Kirkpatrick, assistant parks and recreation director for town, mentioned the path is a gem tucked into metropolis environment.
“There’s not any nature trails like it, in town in the middle of the city,” he mentioned, describing plans to reinforce the path with info plaques describing the environment hikers will enter. “We’re going to go in and put in identifiers along the way. … It’s free to enter, as long as the garden is open.”
The path is open to hikers solely — no mountain bikes or different autos.
Leslie’s “wonderful beginning” is a part of a grasp plan that’s being up to date now.
In addition to reconfiguring the backyard’s considerably tight parking zone, the plan will comply with the new path towards a performing and graphic arts occasions middle, artist’s studios, an amphitheater and a guests middle.
“Those are things that we’re hoping to bring to fruition,” Leslie mentioned.
Those future parts will comply with the public-private partnership mannequin that constructed the nature path. The nonprofit basis that runs Chandor Gardens and town that owns the 1936 residence and land are at the core of that partnership, with hands-on assist from teams such because the plant society, the Boy Scouts, the Texas Master Naturalists and people.
“That is the new model,” Leslie mentioned. “And this has shown us it can work — and is working right here in Weatherford. … This is such a special place right now, being able to have the nature trail and with the community involvement bringing it to fruition.”