Andrews Utility Department gives back yet one more way

The Andrews Utility Department has built trails on a wooded piece of land owned by the town. The department has put the trails in over the course of several years and continues to add new ones. Open to the public, the trails are located beyond the end of Terrell Street in Andrews.
The Andrews Utility Department has built trails on a wooded piece of land owned by the town. The department has put the trails in over the course of several years and continues to add new ones. Open to the public, the trails are located beyond the end of Terrell Street in Andrews. Photo by Steve Clark.

From collecting leaves to running the town’s wastewater plant, the Andrews Utility Department performs the same wide range of responsibilities that any utility department does.

The Andrews department, however, has also taken on a unique responsibility.

Seven years ago, the department started building trails on a wooded piece of land owned by the town. Located at the end of Terrell Street, the department liked the idea of transforming the area, which was underutilized, into something of a recreational spot for residents.

So, the department started working to realize that vision, treating it as a fun side project.

“I don’t think the town knew anything about it,” shares Utility Superintendent Colin Bullock. “We just started doing it.”

Being a small community, the Andrews Town Council did eventually learn about the project. When it did, it was supportive, notes Bullock. He credits the council’s encouragement, along with the enthusiasm of his employees, Eric Spurlock, Harley Asher and Brian Cochran, with giving the project life.

“You got to give them all the compliments,” he remarks.

While work on the trails may have started seven years ago, Bullock says that the balance of the progress on them has been made over the last four. That work has involved clearing out trees, giving the trails an even grade and applying a basecoat to some paths. Bullock credits Spurlock with doing the majority of that work, as well as maintaining the trails.

“He keeps up with them pretty good,” says Bullock.

While the length of the trails has never been measured, Bullock says they’re long enough to result in a healthy walk.

“I’m sure if you wheeled them off … I’m sure you’re looking at a couple miles in there,” he observes. “You can go around the whole thing, you can cut through the center, you can go through the outside.

“There’s lot of different paths you can take.”

“It’s kind of neat back in there – it’s like a little maze at times,” he adds.

Bullock says one of the natural highlights of the trails is Loon Creek. Plans are in the works, he says, to install benches by it.

Another natural highlight, he notes, is the woods’ wildlife, which includes deer and turkeys.

Looking ahead, Bullock says he and his employees would like to put in a dedicated parking area for the trails. Additionally, he says they want to name the various trails and install signage, to help the public differentiate the paths.

Currently, parking for the trails is available at the end of Terrell Street. Entry points to the trails are down a dirt path that starts at the end of the street.

The trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.

Bullock says more and more people are utilizing the trails and that the utility department intends to continue improving and expanding them.

“We’re going to keep making it better each year, we hope, and add a little bit more to it and a little bit more stuff down there for them,” he says. “It’s just a good place to go relax.”