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'An Art And History Lesson': Wichita's Redbud Trail Open In Time For Bike To Work Day

Hundreds are expected to leave their cars and trucks at home today and cycle in to work as part of Bike to Work Day. It’s just one of the activities planned throughout May to promote riding bicycles, and new bike paths have been developed across Wichita to help with the effort.

KMUW’s Carla Eckels brings us this sound portrait of a ribbon-cutting ceremony along the Redbud Trail. The pause point near Wichita State University showcases images of local trailblazers and mosaic tiles capturing the city's stories.

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Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW
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KMUW
Vice Mayor Lavonta Williams meets with attendees at last Saturday's dedication ceremony.

"This is a couple of years in the making. It waited a long time to get here, but it’s a beautiful day in Wichita. The community is up and out and I am so excited. This is an art and history lesson along this bike path. This is an opportunity for those that don’t go to the museums to come here and learn history." -Wichita Vice Mayor Lavonta Williams

 

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Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW
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KMUW
Lynette Woodard.

"The reaction is really overwhelming. You know, I had to thank god for just letting me stand here and witness this and be thankful for letting just the gift flow through me so that all this could be, you know, not only for myself but certainly all the other recipients I hold in high esteem." -Former basketball player Lynette Woodard, who is honored at one of the stops along the Redbud Trail

 

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Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW
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KMUW
Jami Jackson-Howell, Barbara Jackson and Timna Jackson.

"I’ve been watching the history as it unfolds and I’m proud of the family history. Jackson Mortuary will be in business 90 years on July 10 and my great-grandfather saw the vision that instilled all of us grandkids to be people-persons. I just love the community and I just thank Lavonta and the City of Wichita for doing for this for these people here because they deserve to be honored." -Timna Jackson, whose family is honored on the Redbud Trail

 

"I see a lot of Wichita’s black culture represented and a lot of the successful entrepreneurs are displayed on the bike path and I learned a lot. I learned about the architects such as Mr. [Dale] Diggs and Mr. [Charles] McAfee who helped build Wichita. I think it’s really inspiring to see how during segregation and what was going on in that time [they] still managed to make a living for themselves." -Jianna Cousin

 

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Credit Carla Eckels / KMUW
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KMUW
Dominic Canare.

"I’ve actually been riding this trail since they finished it, so I’ve been riding it for six months or so. And every opportunity that I have [I] ride through and stop and look at the art and the history that’s recognized here." -Dominic Canare

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Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Carla Eckels is Director of Organizational Culture at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.