But when one such whopping insect hatches at Osborn MetroPark later this year, expect many people, especially children, to sprint toward the colorful creature and its colossal, colorful compadres.
Through their annual capital improvement plan, Erie MetroParks officials recently announced a flagship project involving building what’s called a Discovery Trail. The project, in which construction should start and end later this year, totals about $100,000.
“The Discovery Trail will be incorporated into Osborn MetroPark’s existing trail system and will feature five nature-themed play pods containing unique play structures for kids ages 5 to 12,” according to a district statement.
In addition to the larger-than-life monarch butterfly and a gargantuan caterpillar, officials want to install habitats native to Erie County, including bees and other pollinators. People can interact with the features, such as climbing on the honeycombs.
“The driving motivation behind the 1-mile trail is to encourage families to experience nature education while increasing physical activity,” the statement read. “With the play pods placed throughout the length of the trail, children will be given an incentive to take a walk in nature with the promise of a place to stop, play and discover.”
Troy Wisehart, one of three park commissioners, wholeheartedly agrees
“The Discovery Trail will add a great feature for younger families,” Wisehart said.
Overhauling Osborn MetroPark
Creating a Discovery Trail adds to the many additions in past years at Osborn MetroPark, Erie MetroParks’ banner park property. Some other improvements in recent years include
• Building the Outdoor Fitness Adventure, a center where people can work out on exercise equipment
• Introducing Harmony Place, a center where people can play musical instruments
• Debuting four initial pickleball courts
• Creating the disc golf course
• Making many improvements to the Erie MetroBark Park at the nearby Hull Road site, also considered part of Osborn MetroPark
Making sense of the dollars and cents
Erie MetroParks officials want to install what they’re calling a Discovery Trail at Osborn MetroPark in 2019. The estimated cost totals $100,000, broken down with:
• As little as $80,000 coming from the district’s budget, largely subsidized by local tax dollars
• As much as $20,000 coming from grants
Note: Just like other amenities found at Osborn MetroPark, it won’t cost users anything to walk or play on the trail.
Source: Erie MetroParks