Oskaloosa.com

April 30, 2013

Rec trail tours to start again Wednesday

By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — It's a good way to see parts of Oskaloosa some seldom see.

The Mahaska Community Recreation Foundation's electrified tram tours of the Recreation Trail will begin again Wednesday.

Kandis DeBruin, MCRF activities manager, helps organize volunteers for the tours. She said four trams will be used on the trail this year, which is up from previous years. DeBruin agreed that the need for more trams, which are made possible through monetary donations, speaks to the popularity of the tours themselves.

On Monday afternoon, DeBruin helped train at least one new volunteer tram driver out at the MCRF office on the Lacey Recreation Complex.

Many older area residents take advantage of the tram tours. DeBruin noted that they've been reaching out to assisted living and other facilities giving their residents the opportunity to take the tram tour. She said they've also been getting church groups and those in town for class reunions to take the two-hour-long tour. This past year, MCRF also reached out to daycares in the area.

“We're definitely expanding,” said DeBruin.

Those who take the tram tour get a bit of a history lesson along the way, courtesy of the volunteer drivers. DeBruin said they provide information about the history of the trail and give riders a handout filled with facts.

Sometimes, the tram will stop and look at wildlife, including deer, said DeBruin.

“It makes you see Oskaloosa in a whole different way,” DeBruin said.

The trams used on the tours have a unique look. DeBruin noted that the newest tram is red, white and blue.

“It's really neat,” she said.

There's also the white “club car,” red “1931 Model T” and the blue “1937 Ford” tram, said DeBruin..

Those interested in taking a tram tour of the Recreation Trail, can contact MCRF at 672-2499.

DeBruin said a tram tour-related Web site is being planned for launch this summer with a calendar of available dates for the tours, as well.

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Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.