February 28 may not be the last day of winter.

February 28 may not be the last day of winter.

But it is the last winter wood chip day for the LaBenite Trail, on the southern bank of the Missouri River just east of Missouri 291 in LaBenite Park.

“Lunch, water and soft drinks will be provided along with fuel for your machines,” said Bill Haman, who is directing the effort beginning at 8:30 a.m. Haman, who lives in Sugar Creek, has been responsible for the park’s revitalization after it was decimated by the Great Flood of 1993 and lay derelict – a park under county jurisdiction used by the Missouri Department of Conservation as a collection area for hazardous materials – for a decade.

The 2-mile trail was created more than six years ago from a grant provided by the city of Sugar Creek, the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission and the Missouri Department of Conservation – not to mention the hard work of Haman and his wife, Carolyn.

“This is your opportunity to contribute to one of the finest trails in Kansas City,” Bill Haman said.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring ATVs and trailers less than 7 feet wide. Wood chips will be loaded on trailers and volunteers will spread them along the path.

“Since the top portion of the trail is looking a little used, we intend to spread new chips on the upper area,” Bill Haman said. “This is the area that gets the most usage and therefore it deteriorates more quickly.”

In the last year, the city of Sugar Creek has helped to improve LaBenite Park by providing $12,000 for Shawhan Sheet Metal to install a new roof on the shelter there and $8,000 to Hamilton & Sterrett for water and electricity at the park. Also, another shelter house is in the works.

If you plan on volunteering, please let Bill Haman know by calling 816-254-8935 or emailing him at whaman1057@aol.com.