Bronze plaques that recognize supporters of the Spirit Trail are now mounted on the Welcome to Clark Lake Sign.  While a border above the plaques has yet to be installed, the accomplishments of last week jump out at you.  When you view the plaques, you get a sense of permanence.  Cast bronze has a way of making that statement.  

If you watched the plaques going up, you would see why they will endure.  After carefully measuring and marking the surface, the team from Jackson Monument drilled anchor holes.  Bolts, combined with a special kind of cement, hold the plaques forever in place.    

Jason Stephens and Chris St. John from Jackson Monument

Since the Spirit Trail’s inception, costs of building, improving and maintaining it have been significant.  In spite of a mighty volunteer army to ensure its good condition, third-party expenses require fundraising.  To recognize those contributing $1000 or more, names of donors had been imprinted on the concrete section of the Trail that parallels Jefferson Road.  The imprints were thought to last as long as the concrete.  In fact, they faded away over time.  The Sign project began when the Spirit Trail Committee sought to solve this dilemma.  A wall would be built along the Trail where donor names could occupy some of the space.  But how to make good use of the rest of it?  An inspired answer arrived.  Annette Fink had a history of creating murals in high-fired clay.  Would she be interested in applying artwork to the Sign?  Yes.  Thus, today you see the Welcome to Clark Lake Sign facing the road, and the plaques with donor names facing the Spirit Trail. 

As the project went forward, additional donors participated.  Others offered support in other ways.  In this video, Annette explains.  

No doubt others will want to be part of this project.  The act of adding names is arduous, but well worth the effort.  And if you wondered about the symmetry, you probably have already figured out what will happen.  The right/left balance will be restored when the next group of plaques are mounted.   If you’re interested in your own name becoming part of Clark Lake history, please email for more information. 

Clark Lake’s contemporary history reaches back to the 1800s.  It was then the Cincinnati-Northern railroad changed Clark Lake’s direction. Once rural/agricultural, the lake became a place for recreation and relaxation.  Today, it increasingly becomes residential.  Clark Lake’s events and projects illustrates how it has built on this history.  Tom Collins’ inspiring message about the building of the Spirit Trail also keynotes the Clark Lake culture: “If a common cause is needed as a focal point around which to rally. let us build a PATH.”  The lake’s culture is a strong one, and the Sign leaves a clue to future generations of just how strongly this generation acts through a full measure of the Clark Lake Spirit.