Ga. DNR administers trail grants to three municipalities
by Marie Nesmith
Apr 15, 2011 | 2498 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The cities of Adairsville, Cartersville and Euharlee are among 25 government agencies that recently received Recreational Trails Program grants.

The funds, which totaled $2.1 million, are administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources under the counsel of the Federal Highway Administration. Along with competing for the grants, each recipient also must match the funding by contributing at least 20 percent of the proposed project's cost.

In Adairsville, receiving the $100,000 grant will enable the city to construct the Oothcalooga Creek Nature Trail. Starting near Highway 140, the less than 2-mile path will wind around the Oothcalooga Creek bank and then the City Lake on Hall Station Road. With a tentative completion date of next spring, the trail will be geared toward walkers and bicyclists.

"Obviously it means a lot to the city of Adairsville. I think the mayor and the council have a vision to make the city livable and walkable and get people out on the streets and just have a good hometown atmosphere," Adairsville City Manager Pat Crook said. "This trail, together with putting in the sidewalks and that kind of thing, gets people out there. It gives them a place to walk, ride bicycles and walk dogs. This piece along the creek is very pretty.

"It will just be a nice [experience] to walk along the creek bank and then loop around that lake. ... it's just kind of a multi-purpose [offering] over in that area because it adjoins [the Frank Moore] ballpark. ... We wouldn't have been able to do [this without the grant]. Honestly, particularly in this economy, Adairsville -- we're small and we struggle a little more than bigger cities in the county and to get a grant like that is a huge deal for us. It enables us to do things that we absolutely couldn't even think of otherwise."

Along with Adairsville's grant, DNR data reports Cartersville was awarded $32,924 to construct a canoe and kayak launch for the Etowah River Blue Trail at Leake Mounds; and Euharlee received $100,000 to build a trailhead and path called Village Historic Trail.

"Trails are very popular, and they're also inexpensive to build and inexpensive to use," said State Parks Director Becky Kelley in a news release. "The investments we make in these facilities pay back the public in good health, attractive and useable land, and dynamic local economies. ... For many years the Recreational Trails Program has provided critical assistance to Georgia in developing its outdoor recreation facilities. Since Congress has made no guarantee to continue this funding, we encourage local governments to plan for their own financing so that trails can continue to flourish."