On Saturday, June 6th, in connection with National Trails Day, a dedication ceremony was held for the shared-use path of the Miami-Erie paved trail, between Lock One & Lock Two. In 2012, the idea of the paved trail was presented to the Village of New Bremen, by Poggemeyer Design Group. In a joint effort between the Village of New Bremen, New Bremen Foundation, Poggemeyer Design Group, and ODOT the paved trail was completed in Fall of 2014 with only 10% of the cost being local share.
Nearly 50 people attended the dedication ceremony. The crowd was welcomed by Steve Dorsten, President of MECCA. Mayor Pape, told the crowd that the new path provides "a best of both worlds", with the north path to Minster benefitting walkers and runners, "...this path serves not only bikers, runners, walkers, but handicapped" outdoor enthusiasts as well. Ted Hemleben, Auglaize County Manager of ODOT, District 7 acknowledged that the path, along the historical Miami-Erie canal was made possible through 4 players: ODOT, Poggemeyer Design Group, New Bremen Foundation & Village of New Bremen.
New Bremen Foundation Treasurer, Brad Smith addressed the crowd by announcing that the New Bremen Foundation has received $95,000 of funding for a paved trail through Kuenning Dicke Natural Area. The funding will be used to construct a 3800 foot long, 10 foot wide trail that will loop within the park area. With the shared-use path and this additional path, a mile long paved trail will be available for outdoor enthusiasts. The New Bremen Foundation is working with Freytag & Associates on the layout of the path.
The ceremony was concluded with Neal Brady, Executive Director of MECCA, commenting that "MECCA does not build trails, we support communities for building the opportunity". Brady continued the benefits of enjoying trails, such as the Miami-Erie Canal shared-use path, by stating that walking provides a psychological boost for people.