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Flour Bluff hike and bike trail bringing attention to Oso Bay Wetland Preserve

The Flour Bluff Citizens Council is starting off a decade-long project to revitalize an old stretch of bridge, and turn it into a hiking trail through the preserve.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A group of citizens in Flour Bluff have taken on an ambitious project. They hope to build a walking and biking trail that stretches across the Oso Wetland Preserve.

"I want people to come to Flour Bluff and say, 'Wow, what a gem. How did we miss this by just driving over it to go to Padre Island?' We want them to stop in and say this is a beautiful place."

That's Shirley Thornton of the Flour Bluff Citizens Council. Over the last 14 months, she and the rest of the council have been hard at work on community projects around the area. The most ambitious, a hiking and biking trail across the Oso Wetland Preserve.

 "What we noticed is that during Covid when we were in lockdown, people took to the streets again on their bicycles, they were taking their families out. And in Flour Bluff we just don't have a lot of places for them to do those things." Thornton said.

The Oso Hike and Bike Trail is a long-term project to connect Flour Bluff to the south side of Corpus Christi. One of the first steps is to clear the grove, a small forest of trees off Flour Bluff Road that locals say few know about.

"You forget you're in Flour Bluff, because it gets quiet cause of all the trees. You look up, it's very mystical because you feel like you're in a whole different place." Said Joe Kramer, president of the Flour Bluff Citizens Council.

Like Thornton, he's lived here for decades, and strives to embody the council's motto... Respect Flour Bluff.

"For me, Respect FB means being more than waiting for the city to do something. It's taking pride and ownership in your own area."

The trail's main part will be over the old trestle bridge, which was once used by the military during WWII to bring supplies to the base via train. All that remains now are the pylons, but thanks to donations from private investors, the council can conduct an investigation to see if they're safe to build on.

"People are wanting to get outside again and we want them to get outside. We want them to get off their devices. We want to get kids back into nature so that they can experience what we experienced as kids." 

Thornton hopes the project will connect the community while also providing a way for them to enjoy nature safely.

She estimates the project will take about ten years to complete, but hopes to get it done much sooner than that with the funding received from private investors.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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