Rome’s trail advocate TRED receives grant moving projects closer to reality
Rome, GA – Rome’s Redmond Trail Project is one step closer to being enjoyed by walkers and cyclists. A grant valued at $7,000 was awarded to Trails for Recreation and Economic Development (TRED) last week by MillionMile Greenway (MMG), an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps grassroots organizations plan and build trails. The grant combines a cash award and in-kind services from MMG’s experts in marketing and community engagement.
“This project has every essential element we look for in a partner,” says Jim Langford, president of MillionMile Greenway. He cited “community buy-in with the ability to match MMG funding, and a solid plan to connect neighborhoods and businesses with downtown Rome.” Langford also credits TRED’s long-range vision to connect Rome’s trails to the Silver Comet Trail (62 miles) and the Pinhoti National Recreation Trail (335 miles) as “a powerful benefit to Rome’s quality of life, now and in the future.”
According to Julie Smith, TRED’s president, phase one is a 1.5-mile paved trail running from The Heritage Trail at Avenue A to the Summerville Park neighborhood. Construction is slated to begin in 2015 – the result of a strong partnership with Rome City and Floyd County governments. “As Northwest Georgia’s only advocacy group dedicated to expanding trails, we’re keenly aware of the economic development and health amenities well-designed trails will bring to Rome,” Smith remarks. “Providing easy walking, running and biking access encourages healthy recreation choices and becomes an eco-friendly alternative to driving.”
TRED was formed in 2012 by local citizens and trail enthusiasts in response to preserving a $400,000 grant awarded by the State of Georgia that was in jeopardy of being forfeited by the County. TRED quickly raised $75,000 to keep the grant “alive.” TRED will also lend its financial and technical support for the 2008 Rome Floyd Trail Facilities Plan – an innovative long-range plan to develop a seamless trail network for transportation, fitness and recreation. Approval to add an additional 3.3 miles of new trails at a cost of $1.8 million will be included on the Rome Floyd SPLOST initiative as a result of a partnership between TRED and Rome City government.
MillionMile Greenway helps communities create or expand trail and greenway initiatives by providing micro-grants and technical and marketing assistance. Current projects include trail planning and implementation in northern Virginia; Ann Arbor, Michigan; North Georgia and Atlanta.