By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
A comprehensive plan for the park will also prevent problematic items like the commuter bike trail, which even bikers hate. Off-road bikers don't like it because it's too much like a road. And on-road bikers don't like it because it's a boring, straight line unlike the curvy roads in the picnic loop. After the first trail section massacred trees, the conservancy helped redesign the remaining portion. Now it will weave around trees instead of plowing them down. The yellow center stripe and the five-foot retaining walls were removed. The walls were intended to protect the trees, but in order to build them, the Department of Transportation had to cut down trees. "It's much less offensive now," Caudill says. "It disappears into the landscape."
And the DOT planted 253 young trees along the path to compensate for the old trees it killed. "In 30 years they'll look real nice," Caudill says. "I will be in a nursing home, but someone else will enjoy them."
At 5:30 a.m. Jack Walston jumps out of his yellow Hummer and starts shouting. The former Navy SEAL conducts early-morning physical fitness classes. He spends an hour yelling at people in the dark, criticizing half-assed jumping jacks. If he doesn't hear everyone in the group counting, he makes them all start back at zero. About 20 people are lying on yoga mats doing crunches. These are people who never refused to dress out for gym class.
It's 90 degrees and the sun isn't up yet. The air is thick and wet. He makes them run laps.
When asked what he thinks about the master plan, he says he didn't realize one was in the works.
"I'm sure nine-tenths of the city has no idea what's going on," he says. "I had no idea, and I'm out here every morning."