Zionsville parks director: Trail misuse leads to fallen tree, closed trail


A fallen tree damaged a boardwalk and stairs in Starkey Park. (Submitted photo)

A portion of trail in Starkey Park is closed at least until summer as a fallen oak tree caused permanent damage to the pedestrian boardwalk and stairs along trail SP-1.

Zionsville Parks Dept. crew members discovered the tree early Jan. 19. It landed on a boardwalk originally constructed by an Eagle Scout. A fence will be set up to prevent trail use until the tree has been removed and the damage has been fixed.

Zionsville Supt. of Parks and Recreation Matt Dickey said that the tree fell as a result of pedestrians stepping off of the marked trail, which eventually led the tree roots to compact and die. The department had added more soil to the area but were unable to keep up with the damage.

“Walking off the side of the designated trail surface or around the stair treads is improper use of the trail,” Dickey stated in a press release. “We really need to get people to use the trails responsibly.”

The town estimates that repairs will cost tens of thousands of dollars.


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