River Trail North and River Trail East will be renamed The Bigbee Trail in honor of Dr. Wally Bigbee.
The city Parks and Recreation Committee made that decision one month after accepting the trails as part of its parks system.
Bigbee was visibly moved by the announcement and subsequent unanimous vote by committee members Ben Newman, Steve Harvey and Kate Alsbrook.
“I thank you,” said Bigbee. “I’m greatly honored. It’s also an honor to be part of a city that has progressive leadership that’s looking out to see where the city can be made better. There is potential all around us.”
Newman stated, “Thanks for all your help. We couldn’t do this without you. It takes a lot of work and time.”
Bigbee said the credit should be going to all the volunteers who worked to construct the trails.
“I couldn’t have done it without the volunteers. Approximately 525 volunteer hours got it to where it is now,” said Bigbee.
The trail, which stretches along Barren Fork River and connects Ramsey Park to Rocket Park, was a coordinated effort between the Greenway Council, Friends of the Greenway, and the city of McMinnville. Bigbee, president of the Greenway Council, supervised work sessions with community volunteers, was the liaison keeping the city informed about services needed, worked with the media to advertise work sessions, and petitioned the city to adopt the trails.
During the last work session held May 5, there were 10 volunteer workers who met at Rocket Park to make improvements on River Trail North. Bigbee says teams and individuals worked tirelessly on that day.
Individuals interested in the expansion of walking trails are urged to call Bigbee at 473-5968 to become a volunteer.
McMinnville Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord has applied for a $28,500 tourism grant from the state that will fund the purchase of signage, as well as other items, for the trails and parks associated with them.