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  • Fairbury News staff

Trail users enjoy extension

David Hammer and Mila Handler are shown by the new trail extension north of Fairbury.

Fairbury’s walking trail is now a bit longer thanks to Prairie Lands Foundation.

The most recent extension creates a loop north of town out to the Catholic Cemetery and back so users of the path won’t have to backtrack. The trail was already extended a few years ago along the west side of Indian Creek out to the cemetery road.

“This really began two or three years ago just trying to work through property owners and it just takes a little while,” explained David Hammer, Prairie Lands president and board member.

This new loop on the northeast end of town leads to nearby nature areas. Most of the concrete work took place in August.

“We kind of got the north part covered here so now we’re just looking to head south and we’ll see how far we can get and how quickly we can do that,” said Hammer.

Prairie Lands board member Mila Handler is a user of the trail who walks and bikes on it. She is impressed with the number of people using the trail – especially around North Park.

“This just makes it perfect,” Handler said. “People love being out so I think it is money well spent.”

The community-based Prairie Lands Foundation began in 1981 with the first real project being the Floyd and Marion Stafford swimming pool and community center. The board is strictly made up of volunteers.

“I describe Prairie Lands Foundation as a vehicle for attracting and administering gifting by local folks,” Hammer noted.

Munz Park on south First Street is another project of the foundation. This is considered a hybrid between a nature area and a park.

“It’s going to be somewhat of an educational area,” said Hammer.

Revitalization efforts continue on the acreage which formerly served as a sand and gravel mining operation. Hammer invites the community to stop out to enjoy nature. Just look for the signage. Foundation members and volunteers have already planted another several hundred plants at the park.

Visitors will enjoy different plots with wetland prairie plants along with traditional plants and flowers.

More on the foundation can be found online at or by contacting Hammer at the Bank of Pontiac Bluestem Bank location in Fairbury.

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