Officials ready for Goodwin Lake Trail ribbon cutting

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson The Goodwin Lake Trail in north Clovis travels through a 32-acre parcel of land the city owns for drainage purposes, and covers about 1.125 miles.

Kevin Wilson

Clovis city officials are set for a ribbon cutting on a walking trail first discussed two years ago, on a piece of land many residents up until now have been unable to visit.

The trails are located on 32 acres of city-owned land, adjacent to Prince Street and north of the North Plains Mall, that is primarily used for drainage.

A walk through the facility, on the 8-foot-wide trails, runs 1.125 miles plus a few steps back to the entrance. On the route, a resident can see four types of trees, dozens of varieties of grass and a natural playa lake, named for former planning and zoning committee member Betty Jane Goodwin.

Part of the draw for the trail, even though residential areas are visible throughout and the North Plains Mall is visible in the distance at the half-mile mark, the trail feels somewhat removed from the city of 38,000.

“This piece of land with its playa is not only a great opportunity to be surrounded by indigenous plants and wildlife, despite being located near a busy area of town,” Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield said in a release, “but also encourages health and wellness by providing a safe environment to exercise in.”

The Nature Conservancy has also been working with the city to conduct educational programs for area schools about the playa lake, which helps recharge the Ogallala Aquifer.

Legislative and Community Development Director Claire Burroughes said the city sought grants totaling $125,000 to do the project, but chopped the cost down to $26,000. Many of the expenses were cut by using the city’s public works department to lay down the asphalt.

“The main expense was the asphalt itself,” Burroughes said.

The trails are part of the city’s parks and recreation master plan, with other walking trails targeted for Dennis Chavez Park and Hillcrest Park. The $26,000 came from a bond renewed in June and paid for through gross receipts taxes dedicated to parks and recreation.