When my parents moved to Mahler Farms Subdivision in 2000, they nicknamed it Pleasantville after a 1998 movie set in a 1950’s Midwestern town where everything is seemingly perfect. If you take a 20 minute stroll around the 1.3 mile path that surrounds the neighborhood, you will quickly understand their comparison. Bill Miller Trail is located around the perimeter of Mahler Farms. Along the path, you will find Bill Miller Park, the small town equivalent of New York City’s Central Park. Although it may seem as though the trail is uneventful, the vibrant colors, floral aromas, and laughing children will not disappoint along the 1.3 mile loop.
The first thing that you will notice along the path is the meticulous detail given to landscaping. Walking along Kraft Street feels like shopping in a nursery. Crabapple trees that were planted in 2006 by the Mahler Farms garden club burst with color like a rainbow every Spring, enhancing the street with their bright pink foliage. Environmentally conscious neighbors also planted Snow Trilliums in the winding, wooded section of the path along South Park Street to help encourage growth of the endangered Wisconsin plant. Many proud homeowners along Kraft Street have planted annual flowers that also help to beautify the path. Along with lovely landscaping in neighborhood, you will see many families with their children or dogs walking around the path, or even in the park. In 2005, the Mahler Farms Homeowners Association launched a fundraising campaign to improve Bill Miller Park. Thanks to their efforts, the park now consists of two main jungle gyms, 3 slides, and several swings. Next to the playground, there is an open field which is commonly used to fly kites, throw balls or frisbees, or play baseball by the backstop. Fun events are held here, such as the family friendly bike parade on the 4th of July, complete with neighborhood musicians and patriotic popsicles. The path has been the setting for many of my childhood memories ranging from helping to build the park to riding my bike without training wheels for the first time.
Whether you’re new to Neenah, or have lived here for years, the Bill Miller Trail is the perfect place for a short stroll or jog. It’s not that difficult of a walk as the 1.3 mile path is fairly flat. Experiencing the fresh air, brilliant colors, sensation of the warm humid air on your skin and echoes of children at play in the park is like a symphony that never plays the same music twice.
Article by NHS Arete Student Jackson Roh