After playing an “instrumental” role in the creation and maintenance of a walking trail in Union Bridge, a councilman has been recognized by having the trail named after him.
Union Bridge Mayor Perry Jones decided to pay tribute to Councilman Donald Wilson for all that he has done for what is now the Donald D. Wilson Walking Trail, making it official at the Union Bridge Town Council meeting on Monday night.
“Well, we started working on this trial, it’s been almost 20 years, Don Wilson has been very instrumental in that," said Jones. “He actually took that trail, helping design it with the planners and everything like that.
“The last two parts of the trail, he’s actually helped with working on it, like we’ve had to go down there with back hoes and tractors and things like that and done some of the excavating so that we could cut back on the costs of the project. So, he’s been very instrumental with that.”
Wilson has helped maintain the trail throughout the seasons, even after flooding, according to Jones.
“Before the town got a mower that would mow, he would bring his own lawn mower in and mow along the trail. Also, he would come down in the winter with his lawn mower and take his plow and clean the trail off so people could walk the trail in the winter time," said Jones. "When we would have floods, he would come down with either his blade on his tractor or with a shovel and scraper and go down and actually shovel and scrape the trail off by himself to get the mud off the trails so that it could be used.
"He’s done a lot of hard work on that trail for the last 20 years.”
The 1.2-mile trail is located off Main Street and partially runs parallel to Md. 75, toward New Windsor.
“We appreciate what he’s done over the years,” said Jones. “I think I’m at the point in my life that I’d like to start recognizing people that do good work for the town, and that we do appreciate what they’ve done for us.”
When presented with the dedication, Wilson was shocked, according to Jones.
“He was totally surprised,” said Jones. “I started the council meeting ... and we talked to our town secretary, I told her try to get a-hold of Donald’s wife and have her come in the side door. When I get to the point where I said we’re going to do a special recognition for someone, we had somebody here to help present a prize, Donald’s wife came in the side door carrying the sign we had made."
Along with great surprise, Wilson also expressed the importance of the trail to walkers of Union Bridge, including himself.
“I’m a walker. I use [the trail] every single day, whether it’s rain or snow,” said Wilson. "So, it means a lot and it means a lot to the community because numerous people will use it, not only Union Bridge but surrounding areas also. It’s a real benefit to everybody that cares to walk.”
“I feel great,” said Wilson. “It’s something that I truly enjoy, along with numerous other people. So, I’m glad. It’s a great trail for dogs, take them out there on a leash, naturally, and walk them. It’s just a nice place."