Recycled Tires Improve Trail at Dora Kelley
Former trail suffered from erosion, trip hazards.
Visitors to Dora Kelley Nature Park now have an easier climb on the path connecting the Holmes Run trail to Sanger Avenue thanks to a new surface made of recycled tires.
The Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities installed a pervious “Flexi-Pave” trail in the park in August. The surface material has continuous voids to allow stormwater to pass through, reducing the frequent flooding and erosion issues that had previously occurred along the trail.
The material used for the trail is made of 1,597 recycled rubber passenger tires that, if stacked in a landfill, would be 1,300 feet tall.
Park planner Dana Wedeles said the trail is located in a resource protection area, which means the department wasn’t allowed to install more concrete or another impervious surface. Now, rainwater trickles straight through the surface and into the ground below.
“It’s environmentally sensitive in two ways,” Wedeles said. “It’s pervious, and it's using recycled materials, so we thought it would be a good match for the park.”
Park user Carol Feather Martin, who visits the park daily to walk her dog, said she loves the new surface.
“It’s just a total improvement, a thousand times, because it was just dirt and rocks, uneven,” she said.
The new surface covers about 580 linear feet. Dora Kelley is the second city park where planners have tried out the new material. The first was a test run on a pathway leading to the park at Fort Williams Park in the spring. Park planners were impressed with those results, Wedeles said.
The newly resurfaced trail at Dora Kelley is often used as a commuter path for cyclists, pedestrians and parents with strollers. Before the resurfacing, it was full of rocks and tripping hazards. Wedeles said the department conducted a survey about the new surface and that users praised the now-flat surface.
“Almost all of the feedback has been positive, and people have been saying they’ll use the trail more,” she said.
Dora Kelley Nature Park is a 50-acre wildlife sanctuary located to the west of North Beauregard Street between North Morgan Street and Sanger Avenue.
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