By REBECCA HAZEN
The first segment of the Town Creek Trail is underway. Town Creek Trail, a project by the nonprofit Scenic Dade Development Company, will provide local citizens with additional outdoor recreational opportunities in Trenton.
The initial segment of Town Creek Trail connects existing sidewalks within Jenkins Park, and at the intersection of Main Street and Price Street. Construction is being completed by Artisan Excavation.
“This project aims to extend the municipal park and build on the significant amenities it already offers. This portion will transform the entrance into the park in terms of visibility, access, and aesthetic,” Town Creek Trail Coordinator Jennifer Blair said.
Concrete has been poured along the path, and is currently going through the curing process, after which hand railing will be installed. In addition, Tree City USA has provided a maple tree as well as flowering bushes. More landscaping is planned along the length of the trail.
Additional segments of the trail will follow along the northern edge of Town Creek. Permission has been granted for the trail to go along property belonging to Citizens Bank and Trust, and the Dade County Courts facility.
“We hope other property owners will also contribute toward this meaningful project. Funding is currently being raised for these portions,” Blair said.
Also, Trenton Mayor Alex Case is in talks with GDOT to try to install a pedestrian crosswalk over Highway 11.
“Eventually, we hope a safe route for pedestrians will be constructed to Dade County High School and all the way to Sitton’s Gulch Trail Head in Cloudland Canyon State Park,” Blair said.
Blair noted that the vision of Town Creek Trail is an enormous undertaking, and there will need to be substantial coordination among governments, businesses, organizations, foundations, and individual landowners.
Town Creek Trail contributors so far include: Dade County, the city of Trenton, Riverview Foundation, Lyndhurst Foundation, Georgia-Alabama Land Trust, UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, Citizens Bank and Trust, Ronald and Vickie McBryar, Modern Woodmen of America, Southeast Linemen Training Center, Tree City USA, Dade County Industrial Development Authority, Tritex Services, and Limestone Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council.
“Town Creek Trail has been developed as a concept over many, many years by both individuals and organizations. I have been working as the Town Creek Trail coordinator for the past two years, and so, as you can imagine, groundbreaking was a huge, happy milestone. I am both elated by the progress and daunted by the work that yet needs doing,” Blair said.
According to Blair, this project will have a large impact on the community, in many ways.
The new trail beautifies the entrance of Jenkins Park and will help make more people aware of the park’s location. The trail will help protect the creek, its water quality, and its ecosystems. In the future, Scenic Dade Development Company hopes for the trail to become a location for public art.
“Why is this project so important? Because it doesn’t matter what you care about, whether it’s kids or safety or health, whether it’s the environment or the economy, or whether it’s art or outdoor activities. Town Creek Trail positively impacts your values and enhances quality of life for everyone who lives, learns, works, and recreates in Dade County,” Blair said.