The state approved a $615,000 grant for Martin Slough trail project, County Manager Steve Mokrohisky announced at the Gardnerville Town Board on Tuesday evening.
The Nevada Department of Transportation grant, along with $100,000 in private money and matching funds from the county and towns, will go to build a pedestrian trail along Martin Slough between Carson Valley Middle School and Ironwood Drive.
Last year, Minden and Gardnerville each approved $25,000 matches to build the trail, which is described as a key element in the county’s master trails plan.
The path would be 9,617-feet-long and 10-feet wide, and would cost an estimated $700,000.
The towns have agreed to maintain their portions of the trail. Sections of the trail will be built by the Ranch subdivision and the Carson Valley Inn.
Community Development Director Mimi Moss said the trail will eventually extend all the way from Jake’s Wetlands in Minden to Lampe Park.
Work on turning Martin Slough into a pathway from Lampe Park to Minden started 15 years ago with construction of two ponds straddling Gilman Avenue next to Chichester Estates.
The Martin Slough Nature Trail consists of 18 acres and includes a walkway and park benches overlooking the ponds.
Similar work on Jake’s Wetland and Wildlife Meadow, which is also on Martin Slough, was completed in 2007.
Private land is being dedicated for the trail along with money. The Ranch is dedicating 44 acres of open space, including a portion of the Martin Slough Trail, and donating $100,000 to the effort to build the trail. The project, originally known as Anker-Park, was first approved by the county in 2004 and stretches from Gilman in the south to Buckeye Road in the north. It is separated from the northern flank of Minden and Gardnerville by the Martin Slough.
The Carson Valley Inn is also contributing to work on the trail, which passes behind the casino’s new outdoor amphitheater. The Seeman Ranch, located behind the Judicial & Law Enforcement Building along Buckeye Road, also lies along the trail.
Minden Town Engineer Bruce Scott has been working on the trail since its inception.
He said that the eventual pathway connecting Jake’s Wetlands in Minden to the Martin Slough Nature Trail in Gardnerville will be far more than a park, but not in a way people necessarily expect.
“It’s an open space greenbelt,” he said. “It’s a multiple-purpose, multiple-benefit open space area, and it helps bring Gardnerville and Minden together.”
Scott said those expecting manicured lawns may find something else entirely on the pathway along Martin Slough.
“People need to remember that they can’t expect to see a mowed lawn,” he said. “It’s got whole lot more than a mowed lawn, it has wildlife, all types of vegetation. Lampe Park is a wonderful place to go, but it’s not going to mitigate a flood like the Martin Slough will.”
Martin Slough intercepts several floodways on the northern side of Minden and Gardnerville and serves as a key means of transporting water away from the two towns.