The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2012

April 14, 2012

Courting the community

Longtime park board member still has finger on the pulse of the city

ENID — Carolyn Nicholas’ time on the Enid Park Board has ended for now, but she still is interested in the community.

Nicholas served on Enid Park Board for about nine years, part of the time as chairwoman. During that time, she was one of those instrumental in building several new tennis courts in Enid.

“You might say that was my pet project while I was there,” she said.

The city of Enid donated $80,000, and the park board raised an additional $320,000 to build the new courts, which Enid tennis players said were needed badly. Nicholas and fellow board member Coni Blankenship led the way on the drive.

Nicholas also was active during the initial stages of the development of the Enid trail system. Fellow board member Kelly Champlin brought up the idea, then left the board, so Nicholas followed up, again, she said, with assistance from other board members.

When Andrie Winters, the city’s grant coordinator, started her job, she immediately obtained a $700,000 grant from Oklahoma Department of Transportation. The grant is paid out as specific trail requirements are met.

“It’s a slow process,” Nicholas said. “The idea is to have 3.2 miles (of trails) in the center of town and a spur that will go to Walmart, a spur that will go to the Northern Oklahoma College and Northwestern Oklahoma State University, a spur going to Crosslin Park and one south going to Vance Air Force Base. That way it will be accessible to all quadrants of the city.”

The initial project began in 1995. Nicholas said Jerry Allen also has been involved in the trail project. She complimented City Manager Eric Benson for his assistance.

“I was excited to see the city commission return from their (recent) brainstorming session and say they were focusing on quality of life issues,” she said.

During the first five years Nicholas was a member of the Park Board, there were several different city managers. It is hard to maintain consistent planning that way, she said.

But tennis courts, parks and trails are only a few of Nicholas’ “pet projects.” Since she works in environmental consulting, Nicholas was among the first to push an Enid lake. The city recently created a water master plan that warned of a water shortage within 20 years if steps are not taken. Since that time, the city has begun work on developing a number of new water wells and ways to deliver the water to Enid. She still believes a lake is another option to that plan.

“Nitrates tend to accumulate in ground water, and a lake would eliminate that, plus we would have the other benefits of a lake,” Nicholas said.

One of the major problems involved in building a lake is the flatness of Garfield County. Nicholas said a lake requires a natural canyon and also a river running through the area. That type of water source is somewhat rare in Garfield County, she said. However there are options. Her original plan was a 10,000-acre lake, but she has pared that idea down to a smaller lake. Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City is 2,500 acres and is one of the busiest recreation areas in Oklahoma City.

“I’d be happy with a 2,500-acre lake,” she said.

In addition to her community work, she is mother to three teenage boys, and she and husband Jay are helping charter Cimarron Presbyterian Church in Enid.

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Progress 2012
  • onlineheader.jpg 2012 ON THE HORIZON

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual progress edition. This year's 2012 On the Horizon focuses on developments now and in the future. The stories in text format are available by scrolling down this page.

    Links to pdf format: Economic Development I Health and Wellness I Education I Northwest Oklahoma I Family I Faith I Agriculture and Energy I Community Service

     

    February 18, 2012 1 Photo

  • cover.jpg Community Service

    Enid News & Eagle's 2012 On the Horizon edition concludes with the role of community service.

    Click HERE for text version of the stories.

    Click HERE for pdf version of the edition.

    April 15, 2012 1 Photo

  • Chisholm vs Okeene_6_BV.jpg Chisholm seeks consistency

    August 19, 2012 1 Photo

  • Karen Vanover_Bass Hospital Volunteer_2_BV.jpg A positive interaction

    Karen Vanover and A.Z. Callicoat are past volunteers of the year at their respective hospitals, Vanover at Integris Bass Baptist Health Center and Callicoat at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • Sandbox Learning Center_Ella Mae Loggins_BV.jpg Foster Grandparents: The solver of all problems

    “It’s something to get up for in the morning." — Foster Grandparent Ella Loggins

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • Hedges_Carmen Ball_3_BV.jpg Hear this

    Hedges is committed to improving communications skills for those in need in northwest Oklahoma.
    Executive Director Carmen Ball said Hedges is the only full-service speech and hearing center in northwest Oklahoma.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos

  • Stephanie Ezzell_BV.jpg Doing their part for the community

    Stephanie Ezzell is active in the community in a number of capacities, including the popular Farmers Market, on the southeast corner of Grand and Garriott.

    April 14, 2012 1 Photo

  • Keepin' Enid Green_1_BV.jpg Sorting out the service

    The curbside recycling business began after Chris Feeney of Oklahoma Employment Securities’ Material Recovery, a recycling venture, repeatedly was asked why the option wasn’t available.

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • ESL_Emmanuel Baptist Church_4_BV.jpg Learning the language

    Volunteers at Emmanuel Baptist Church stepped up to fill that gap with free ESL instruction last January, and now they have hopes of expanding the program to better serve the community.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos

  • First Presbyterian Church Mentoring_1_BV.jpg Tutoring joy

    Each Wednesday after school, church members pick up students — there are 23 in this year’s group — and take them to the church building for a snack, some fun and plenty of homework help.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos