Class creates trail at WKU’s field campus

Laurel Wilson

The WKU community now has a new outdoor resource to explore.

Professor Steve Spencer’s Recreation Resource Management class spent this semester creating a loop trail at the McChesney Field Campus.

The field campus was donated to WKU in August 2009 by the McChesney family and is made up of 140 acres in northern Warren County off Austin Raymer Road.

In the semesters since then, there has been a class that explored the geology of the area and one that cleaned up the area, Spencer said.

But this semester, his class decided to make accessibility of the land its goal, he said.

Class member Brian Grant, a junior from Falls of Rough, said Spencer let the class decide what it wanted to do with the property.

“We hit it from the ground running,” Grant said. “Doc guided us, but we saw what we needed to do and did it ourselves.”

The group added to an old existing road to create a 1.8-mile loop that begins at the frame of a log cabin and goes by a historic cemetery, spring and ferry landing, said La Grange senior Eric Ballard.

On Monday, the 14 class members gave a tour of their completed trail.

Nate Seiveno, a senior from Franklin, Tenn., said it was great that a normally textbook-based class turned into a hands-on experience.

“You’re actually out in the field doing it yourself,” Seiveno said.

The group also cleared out a lot of trash, brush, metal and large appliances, Spencer said. They recycled what they could and used the earnings for materials they needed.

Ballard said there’s still a lot of work to done at the field campus, and future recreation classes will likely make the site their project as well.

Spencer said he hopes to get the word out about the field campus, and he wants educational groups to be able to come until it opens permanently.