published Saturday, May 4th, 2013

Work on Summerville trail set to start this summer

The historic Summerville Railroad Depot is proposed to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The historic Summerville Railroad Depot is proposed to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Photo by Dan Henry.

Summerville, Ga., received a chunk of $1.66 million in grant funding from the state Department of Natural Resources for development of its Willow Springs Trail between two historic sites.

City Manager Russell Thompson said the new trail will link the town's most important landmarks and expand paths for pedestrians.

"It's going to tie to our depot and follow along the creek to Willow Springs Park," Thompson said.

Summerville got $100,000 to help with development of the trail.

Thompson said the new trail also will allow people to walk from the park near the corner of First and Commerce streets to the Summerville Depot property along East Washington Street, which connects by walkways and paths a little farther south past the railroad turntable to Dowdy Park.

"People will be able to see everything along the trail," Thompson said.

Becky Kelley, director of Georgia's Division of Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites, said the state's outdoor tastes are growing and the funding will "help lay more paths to family fun and outdoor exercise."

The grant funds are appropriated by the U.S. Congress through the Recreational Trails Program and administered by the Department of Natural Resources, which holds a competition each year for grant funding. Local governments must provide 20 percent of the total project cost.

Lyerly and Ringgold also were among the 16 grant recipients across the state, officials said.

Thompson said the city's 20 percent match will be partly in cash, partly in-kind work by city employees.

An environmental review, part of the grant program, will take two months, he said.

"We'll be maybe three or fourth months to start," he said.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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