The Platte River Trails Trust, incorporated in 1982 and formerly known as the Platte River Parkway Trust, is a citizen-led non-profit organization. Our mission is to develop a river pathway while preserving the scenic, natural and historic value of the North Platte River. We work with community partners to develop a network of trails that enhances our community`s economic vitality and quality of life.
We created a central thread through the heart of the community that provides recreational opportunities, riparian conservation and urban development, including a riverside venue for weddings and events (the Tate Pump House) and a whitewater park. Our work continues to expand and maintain this Casper treasure, which draws countless visitors each year.
Our efforts and operations are informed by Our Values:
- Quality of Life
- Environmental Stewardship
- Health and Recreation
- Historical Preservation
- Citizen Involvement
- Public/Private Partnerships
- Transportation and Safety
- Leadership in Pathways and Trails
Platte River Trails is a riverfront pedestrian pathway that locals and visitors enjoy. It is also a link between the river corridor and surrounding urban areas, developed to maximize water-oriented recreational use. Finally, it is a program for cleaning up the riverbed and riverbank to preserve and protect the habitat along and within the river.
A Chronological History of the Platte River Trails
Many years ago, original Parkway Board members Tom Stroock and Jim Hill attended a convention in San Antonio, Texas. After seeing that city’s trail system and development along the river, both men mused about how something like this could happen in Casper. This led to the establishment of the Parkway Trust in 1982, and work began to build a pedestrian trail system. Today the trail system is enjoyed by many thousands of visitors and locals each year.
Below is a chronological history of the Platte River Trail’s development:
- 1981 The City of Casper appointed a Riverfront Steering Committee to work with consultants on a Master Plan for the Platte River Parkway concept. Tom Stroock, Parkway Board Director, Rob Hurless, Publisher of the Casper Star Tribune and Larry Harms, City of Casper Parks Manager were members of that original Steering Committee.
- 1982 AMOCO donates 8.105 acres of land on the site of the current Amoco Park. Parkway Trust attains 501-C3 status and 1% #8 sales tax funds approved for development of Amoco Park.
- 1985 Amoco Park design approved, including a replica drilling derrick as a monument to the oil industry. Group of local kayaking enthusiasts present a letter of interest in including a kayak course at Amoco Park.
- 1986 Phases I and II of Amoco Park construction was let to 71 Construction.
- 1987 Preliminary planning started for the derrick.
- 1988 1 % tax funding for the Parkway approved, Amoco performs a river clean up.
- 1989 Poplar Street bridge underpass completed. Burlington Northern Park to Parkway Plaza Hotel section of Platte River Parkway completed.
- 1990 Construction commences on the Derrick. Voters approve 1% #9 tax funding for the First Street Underpass and Crossroads to North Casper ball fields segment of pathway.
- 1991 Completion of the pathway section from the Holiday Inn to Crossroads Park.
- 1992 Parkway Board develops a 10 year plan to extend the Parkway westward from Morad Park to Paradise Valley Park.
- 1993 The Derrick and the First Street Underpass completed.
- 1994 1% #10 funding approved to construct a pedestrian bridge at the North Casper Soccer complex and a pathway to Bryan Stock Trail.
- 1995 Construction of the pathway from the pedestrian bridge site to Bryan Stock Trail completed. 1st Annual “Autumn Fest” along the river behind the Holiday Inn held.
- 1996 I 25/F Street Underpass completed, Fort Casper to Morad Park section completed and 2nd Annual Fall Festival held.
- 1997 Memorial Grove planted and dedicated, pathway through Morad Park completed, boat ramp at Bryan Stock Trail constructed, 1st Annual Brewfest held.
- 1998 Pedestrian Bridge installed and dedicated.
- 1999 Received WYDOT funding for construction of 2 sections of pathway. Mile Markers installed along Parkway. JTL Ponds site plan completed.
- 2000 Completed WOTCO section of path. Held long term planning sessions for Parkway Board to establish future goals.
- 2001 Completed 1st Street Park to W. 1st Street section of path. Accepted to Wyoming Community Foundation/Kresge Challenge for the creation of an endowment fund.
- 2002 Completed 2 sections of path 1) Amoco Park to Mills and 2) Morad Park to Magnolia Road.
- 2003 Whitewater Park completed and dedicated. Magnolia to Paradise Valley Park segment of trail completed.
- 2004 – Installed the Endowment Plaza in recognition of the donors that helped get the Platte River Parkway Endowment Fund operating. Exceeded $200,000 balance in the endowment
- 2005 – Received donation of land to allow work to begin on the extension of the Rail Trail from downtown Casper to the east
- 2006 –Began extension of the Rail Trail from Veterans Park to Lennox St., including Phase I of the Beverly St. Underpass. Installed new concrete path closer to the river in Amoco Park, the oldest section of the path system. Install fisherman statue in the river at the White Water Park.
- 2007 – Received donation of the old Amoco Pumphouse from BP. Work with BP and Amoco Reuse Joint Powers Board to get a pipe bridge installed near the Pumphouse.
- 2008 – Install boat ramp at the Pumphouse, and begin design and planning and fundraising for the rehabilitation of the Pumphouse.
- 2009 – Completed the rehabilitation of the Tate Pumphouse & Trail Center.
- 2010 – Completed the Rail Trail project from Lennox St. to Eastdale Park, including Phase II of the Beverly St. underpass. Re-stained the Oil Derrick at 1st and Poplar St.
- 2011 – Completed the Rail Trail project from Eastdale Park to Walsh Dr. Completed Phase I of the landscaping around the Tate Pumphouse.
- 2012 – Changed the name from the Platte River Parkway Trust to the Platte River Trails Trust. Completed Phase II of the landscaping around the Tate Pumphouse, including additional parking.
- 2013 – Completed a second trail through Morad Park to reduce the traffic on the one trail that goes through the dog park.