The entrance to Chief Standing Bear Trail off of Sixth Street is starting to take shape as R.L Tiemann Construction workers can be seen putting down dirt that will eventually be used to plant grass, trees and shrubbery.

“They’ve started doing some dirt work there and hopefully we will start seeing some grass grow on the trail portion out there,” City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer told the Beatrice City Council at Monday’s meeting. “We are working to get some trees in that area. The plan is to eventually add some trees, flowers and shrubs.”

The construction workers started adding dirt to the open space around the trail this week and are expected to be finished and ready to add seed for grass by next week.

“Right now, we are doing that because that area has been so inundated with debris and rock, we had to take all of that out and cover it up with dirt,” City Engineer James Burroughs explained. “So we will put in six inches of black dirt and six inches of mulch to help make it a better landscape area.”

By the time the grass covers the outer sections of the trail, an area that had been industrial will now become a much more natural landscape.

“We will start seeding the grass throughout the fall and hopefully start seeing some growth before the winter,” Burroughs added. “There should be a full patch of grass through the spring and summer and then will start to plant trees and shrubbery, but that will be an ongoing process.”

It will take some time to get the grass established, Burroughs said, but they will at least start to put the seed down although they may have to reseed in the spring to make it stand.

“The grass will be established first and then we will put trees in where we see fit sometime next year,” he concluded.

Discussion of the trail continued at the council meeting on Monday as council members approved of an ordinance officially naming a portion of the trail inside the city limits, Chief Standing Bear Trail.

“This is an ordinance to name our portion of the trail starting at Dempsters on the east side of the highway extending out through town up through two miles out of town to Chief Standing Bear Trail,” Tempelmeyer explained.

The council passed the ordinance 7-0 with Council Member Ted Fairbanks absent from Monday’s meeting.

Beatrice Daily Sun – Alex Zorn