Hartford Celebrates Dedication of Mike Franken Trail
– (9/17/18) – The City of Hartford and Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the dedication of the Mike Franken Trail on Saturday, September 15th at 11:00 am. This project had been in the works for several years and is the product of joint cooperation between the Hartford Area Bike & Rec Trail Committee, the City of Hartford, the State of South Dakota, the Mike Franken family, and numerous other volunteers and organizations.
The trail’s namesake, Mike Franken, was an avid hunter, sportsman, and bike rider. He loved the outdoors and strongly felt that a Bike and Recreational Trail system would be a great addition to the Hartford area. Franken passed away in August 2012 at age 43 after a battle with cancer. The Mike Franken Trail now connects the Turtle Creek Trail to the Michael Fitzmaurice Trail creating the largest network of trails in Hartford’s history.
This 2,325 ft project was made possible through numerous grants including the State of South Dakota’s Transportation Alternatives Program. Hartford was able to receive this 80/20 matching grant thanks to the work of Troy Larson and the Bike & Rec Trails Committee. Hartford’s natural gas provider, MidAmerican Energy, donated $2,500 that was used to build a picnic shelter along the Mike Franken Trail. Significant contributions from both Scheels and Wellmark allowed for the success of this project.
“Bike and recreational trails are important for community development,” said Jesse Fonkert Economic Development Director for the City of Hartford. “Hartford is becoming one of the best places to live and raise a family in the Sioux Empire and the dedication of this trail is another step forward in increasing the quality of life of Hartford area residents. People will be able to enjoy our expanding system for decades to come thanks to the vision of Mike Franken.”
The dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Saturday, September 15th at 11:00 am at Turtle Creek Park.