Soldier Creek Industrial Park Trails
The trail was built in 2016 on 77 acres of floodplain property that is owned by the City of Midwest City. It is located between along Northeast 23rd Street between Air Depot and Midwest Boulevard next to the Soldier Creek Industrial Park (SCIP). The trail includes an ADA compliant trail head with shelter and map. Trail signs denote levels of difficulty. Picnic and bathroom facilities are available as well as a paved parking area. Ideal for mountain biking, running and hiking, the three miles of unpaved trails will engage the experienced and novice alike. It winds across fields and through a wooded area along Soldier Creek.
Recreational Trails Program
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a State-administered, federal aid program managed through the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in consultation with the Department of the Interior. The program began as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 and is now included in SAFETEA-LU. The funds to build the SCIP Trails were provided by the OTRD.
2017 Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Award
The 2017 Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Award for environmental excellence for municipalities was awarded to Midwest City for the clean-up of Soldier Creek in preparation of the SCIP Trail opening. The City of Midwest City organized, provided resources for, and took part in a clean-up of a floodplain that was in the process of having a bike trail built within it.
The project started at 07:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, 2017, with Midwest City Employees transporting the necessary equipment to the clean-up site. The equipment included four half-ton pickups, one one-ton pickup with portable restroom trailer, a rear loading trash truck, a two ton truck with a 30 ft. gooseneck trailer, one John Deere Gator (ATV), one Kawasaki Mule (ATV), four ice chests, four forty packs of water, five tables, twenty chairs, one roll-off dumpster, two eight-yard dumpsters, a first –aid kit (with a Police Officer to administer it), breakfast, and lunch.
Once the volunteers arrived they were divided up into groups and assigned areas that we had previously identified as priority areas. These priority areas had dump sites from its previous owners, and large amounts of trash that had washed into the floodplain from the nearby creek. Each group was given gloves, a five-gallon bucket with a can of marking paint, flags, and a vest in it. Each group had a team leader that would wear the vest, so they could easily be located by members of their team. This was crucial since any harmful materials like glass and barbed wire would be handled by the team leader and placed in the bucket so as to not tear the trash bags provided by Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. The marking paint and flags were used to bring anything too large to handle, or place in a bag, to the attention of a city employee operating a half ton pickup. This allowed the volunteers to focus on cleaning up as much small trash as possible while the employees with equipment cleaned up the larger items and dumpsites. Once bags were full they would lay them out by the main road to be transported to the front sorting area. In this sorting area, we had three people unloading the trucks and sorting between trash, metal, and tires. This allowed the trucks to get back to handling larger items/picking up trash bags rather than the driver unloading their truck themselves. The effort of these 66 volunteers and the city employees produced 8,940 pounds of trash, 560 pounds of metal, and 85 tires. This comes out to about two and a half bags of trash per volunteer per hour (assuming twenty pounds per bag), and one-half tire per volunteer per hour.
This project provided a great way for the City of Midwest City to begin a yearly clean-up with our first ever event of this kind producing 9,500 pounds of trash/recyclables and 85 tires. This kind of success will go a long way in obtaining resources, staff, and the time required to organize and implement this kind of project in the future. The committee that organized and implemented this project will begin meeting again sometime later this year to discuss another clean-up effort. The next clean-up effort will likely take place in spring 2018.
Volunteers comprised the majority of the workforce on the front lines for this project. A large amount of our volunteers were just regular citizens trying to better their community. The workforce also included city leadership and officials such as our Mayor, Public Works Director, Council Members, the Asst. City Engineer, Stormwater Quality Department, Community Development Department, Firefighters, and Police Officers. Stormwater Quality, the Asst. City Engineer, and Community Development were the departments that made up the committee responsible for the planning and implementation of the project. The committee greatly appreciated the city leadership/officials for joining the ones responsible for the implementation of this project to help on the front lines with our volunteers. This project has been a display of the passion that our great City, and its citizens, have for bettering our community.
On-going maintenance is provided by the Oklahoma Earthbike Fellowship, a statewide organization dedicated to the enhancement of off-road cycling through trail advocacy, maintenance and cooperation with land managers and users. The City of Midwest City also shares maintenance responsibilities.
SCIP Recreational Trail Map