Ingram & CHS Join Native American Hiking Trail!

Every now and then someone comes along, steps up, and offers to use his/her talents to make a difference.  This week it was CHS teacher, Leanne Ingram, who grabbed the hands of her dual-credit history students and jumped on board with Revitalize Comanche, Inc. and its Native American hiking trail project. Suddenly, a rough hiking trail enters the world of technology!

Comanche High School teacher, Leanne Ingram, is a moving and a shaker when it comes to innovative education!

Comanche High School teacher, Leanne Ingram, is a mover and a shaker when it comes to innovative education!

As you know, a Native American hiking trail, spearheaded by Revitalize members, Bruce Bradshaw, Gail Bradshaw, Cliff Conway, Amy Moerman, Newburg 4-H, and Rob Evans, is in the planning stages.

Moerman and the Bradshaws, along with Conway (who left before I remembered to take a photo) walked (yet again), planning as they went.

Moerman and the Bradshaws, along with Conway (who left before I remembered to take a photo), walked the trail (yet again), planning as they went.

The trail will circle the wooded area around the city park and will feature native plants that would have been used by the Comanche for both food sources and medicinal purposes.

For instance, did you know that from Amphiachyris Dracunculoides (Prairie Broomweed) a poultice of flowers was made into jelly and used by the Comanche to treat eczema and skin rashes?

For instance, did you know that from Amphiachyris Dracunculoides (Prairie Broomweed) a poultice of flowers was made into jelly and used by the Comanche to treat eczema and skin rashes?

At the trailhead will be a large kiosk/map that lets visitors know what they can expect to see along the 1.3 mile trail.

This sign is just a sample of a large sign that will layout the trail and what hikers will find along the way.

This sign is just a sample of a large sign that will layout the trail and what hikers will find along the way.

Then, every 30-50 feet will be a featured plant with its own individual sign, telling hikers the name of the plant as well as how it was used.

Did you know that rye grass blades were used as a scraper for removing cataracts? Sounds awful, but I suppose we do what we have to do!

Did you know that rye grass blades were used as a scraper for removing cataracts? Sounds awful, but I suppose we do what we have to do!

And that’s where the high school/college students enter the equation. In addition to the written information, each individual sign will carry a QR code, created by a student. Hikers will then be able to use their smart phones to scan the code and view a student-created video with information about the plant.

Why do this?

Because while people such as you and I might enjoy reading, we have an entire generation of young people who are used to this type of technology and who had much rather someone TELL them something as to read it for themselves.

The QR code on this poster is located in the bottom right corner. By scanning it with a smart phone, you will be taken to one specific place where info about Thomas Jefferson (created by a student) is stored.

The QR code on this poster is located in the bottom right corner. By scanning it with a smart phone, the viewer can travel to one specific place where info about Thomas Jefferson (created by a student) is stored.

Having students do this for all of us truly is a “Big Deal” so when you see Leanne or high school principal, Chad Gee, be sure to give them a huge thank you. Together, we CAN make Comanche a better place to be!

*****

And just so you know, these things do not happen over night. The first work on the trail is pure manual labor and will go as fast as we have people to help. There are logs and brush to be cleaned out of Indian Creek and placed at strategic points as screens where civilization tries to creep into the scene.  We will get started on this just as soon as we have a really cold day. There is also an area that is going to require much cleaning if we are to fill it with prairie grass as would have been in our area when the buffalo fed off of it.

Of course, there is much planting to do before we are ready to even think about signs. We are in the process of writing a grant for those signs because they will be expensive, but there is absolutely no guarantee that we will be awarded the grant. If not, Revitalize Comanche, Inc. will have to come up with a way to raise the money to purchase signage.

It is going to happen (and work has already begun), but how quickly the project is completed will be determined by volunteers and dollars.  If you would like to be a part of this project with your brawn, your brain, or your wallet, contact anyone involved in the project.

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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