The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) are important funding sources for The Thread, and cuts to these dedicated funding sources and their livelihood are in flux. On June 13, the NC House approved its budget recommendations for FY 13-14 and FY 14-15 (recommending maintaining the dedicated revenue source for PARTF and CWMTF, but limits funding for these programs). There are still a lot of moving parts before a final North Carolina state budget is approved in order to determine the impacts on greenways, trails and conservation efforts. See the links below to contact your elected officials (representatives and senators) to express support for maintaining funding and tax credits for conservation efforts.
Construction of a trail Near You May Be In Jeopardy!
Current North Carolina General Assembly draft legislation prohibits state match funding for greenways and other bicycle and pedestrian improvements. This policy shift would eliminate the way communities around the state have traditionally funded trail design and construction at a time when these projects are seeing incredibly high usage.
In the past, the state has been the primary source of the 20% match needed to access 80% federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects. So, a $100,000 investment from the state would result in an $400,000 match from the federal government to fund a $500,000 project.
This comes at a time when bicycle and pedestrian facilities, particularly greenways, are in high demand throughout North Carolina for their contributions to healthy lifestyles, increased property values, safe routes to schools and commuter options. While some amendments to the legislation may allow current projects to continue, state funding for new trail projects will cease.
Contact your NC legislator today and encourage them to retain transportation funding for trails and greenways: http://www.ncleg.net/Representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx
The list of impacted projects below was developed by NCDOT.
|Albemarle||US 52 Sidewalks|
|Asheville||Clingman Forest Greenway and Town Branch Greenway|
|Blowing Rock||Middle Fork Greenway|
|Blowing Rock||US 421 Pedestrian Underpass|
|Charlotte||Irwin Creek Greenway|
|Charlotte||Toby Creek Greenway|
|Cornelius||Caldwall Station Greenway|
|Creedmoor||US 15 Multi Use Path and Sidewalk Improvements|
|Durham||US15-501 Multi Use Path Connector|
|Durham||Garrett Road Bike Lanes and Sidewalks|
|Elizabeth City||US17 to Pritchard St Greenway|
|Goldsboro||New Hope Road Multi Use Path|
|Greensboro||Battleground to Mendenhall Greenway|
|Greenville||South Tar River Greenway Phase 3|
|Jacksonville||LeJune Boulevard Greenway|
|Jamestown||Deep River Pedestrian Bridge|
|Mocksville||Rich Park Greenway|
|Mount Airy||Lovills Creek and Ararat River Greenways|
|Mount Holly||Mount Holly River Front Greenway|
|Raleigh||Neuse River Greenway – Missing Link Connector|
|Siler City||Loves Creek Greenway|
|Troutman||Main Street to South Iredell High School Sidewalks|
|Troy||Okeewemee Road Sidewalks|
|Wilmington||Middle Sound Loop – Ogden Elementary Multi-Use Path|
|Wilmington||Cross City Trail|
|Winston-Salem||Brushy Fork Creek Greenway – Phase IV|
|Winston-Salem||Cedar Trails Greenway|
|Winston-Salem||PTRP Rail Trail|
State, local and national leaders speak at recent North Carolina trail openings:
The Carolina Thread Trail was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from national outdoor retailer REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) to help fund The Thread’s volunteer program and trail building initiatives.
This funding will help purchase three new tool kits for Trail Masters Program leaders who manage other volunteers on trail workdays. Tools used to help break dirt, clear brush and carve trail features – such as Pulaskis, pick axes and saws – will be purchased. The Thread has 30 Trail Masters volunteers who are professionally trained in sustainable trail building practices. They lead teams of volunteers and properly instruct them on how to build and maintain natural surface trail. The Thread has more than 400 registered volunteers.
The award will also be used to construct two new canoe/kayak launches along the Rocky River in the Town of Midland in Cabarrus County. Town managers are currently finalizing plans to build the put-in locations, which will anchor a six-mile river blueway through Midland.
“Year after year REI demonstrates its wide range of support and commitment to The Thread and other local outdoor initiatives in a tremendous way,” said Ann Hayes Browning, project director for the Carolina Thread Trail. “We value our partnership with REI and appreciate this critical grant funding that will go a long way in helping to build and maintain our region’s trail network.”
The Thread also received a $10,000 REI grant in 2012 to support trail work and has received sponsorship funding from the company for several volunteer workdays and the Tread The Thread 5K Twilight Trail Race.
REI supports environmental stewardship and outdoor awareness through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions. The grant is the result of a nomination by REI’s Pineville, NC store.
The Anne Springs Close Greenway is in Fort Mill, SC. – 1604 U.S. 21 (use the Nature Center Entrance)
Signs will be in place directing race participants to the start of the race near the Bruce Rush Pavilion.
Directions to the Anne Springs Close Greenway From I-77 S (from Charlotte)
Take I-77 exit 88 / Gold Hill Road exit. Turn left off the exit (towards Pineville / away from Tega Cay).
Continue on Springfield Parkway.
Turn right at the 4th traffic light (past lights at Captain Steve’s & Springfield schools) onto Old Nation Rd./Highway 21 Business.
Turn right onto Dairy Barn Lane.
In four days in April, the group of community and business leaders worked side-by-side to build a put-in launch so that kayak and canoe users can conveniently access the Rocky River. A parking lot will need to be built before the launch opens, which is scheduled to be completed this fall. The leadership group recently held a ribbon cutting to celebrate their accomplishment. It’s the county’s first public canoe and kayak launch on the river. They also installed a bench and a launch marker.
A 1.75 mile natural surface trail, that weaves through 66 beautifully conserved acres on the Pharr Family Farm along the Rocky River, is under construction and will also provide access to the launch. Midland Town Administrator David Pugh applauded Leadership Cabarrus’ efforts and said the town is finalizing plans to build two more put-in points further downstream, which will make for a total six-mile blueway through the Midland area. We will keep you posted on when this canoe/kayak launch will open! Thank you, Leadership Cabarrus!
The Carolina Thread Trail Governing Board recently awarded two implementation grants, totaling $130,000, for community projects along the Carolina Thread Trail (The Thread). Implementation grants provide funding to communities to assist with trail corridor planning, land acquisition and construction of trails.
The grant award amount, community information and the use of the grants follow:
• Anson County – $75,000: Grant money awarded to Anson County will be used to fund the acquisition, design and construction of an approximately three acre canoe/kayak launch site on the Rocky River in Anson County. The launch site will be located adjacent to Plank Road in northern Anson County and will have available off-road parking. This site will be located on the Anson/Stanly County border and will provide blueway connectivity both upstream and downstream.
• Catawba Lands Conservancy – $55,000 (Iredell County): Funds awarded to Catawba Lands Conservancy (CLC) will be used to complete the design, permitting and construction of a trailhead/parking lot, as well as up to six pedestrian bridges, for a two-mile trail segment located along the South Yadkin River in northern Iredell County, adjacent to the Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council’s Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus at Oak Springs. This trail is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013. A conservation easement now permanently protects 358 acres of the 673-acre Oak Springs property, protecting it forever from future development. Oak Springs is a regional destination for Girl Scouts and provides camp activities and educational experiences for girls from Anson, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Rowan, Stanly, Union and York, SC counties. On average, about 200-300 girls participate in activities every weekend from March through November.
These grants are awarded as part of The Thread’s quarterly implementation grant cycle. Awards from The Thread help communities build trails that will add to the 115 miles of trails that are currently open to the public throughout The Thread’s 15-county region. Both Anson and Iredell counties have adopted a county-wide greenway master plan, making the county, cities and towns within Anson and Iredell counties eligible for grant funding from The Thread.
To date, The Thread has awarded more than $7.3 million in catalytic grants to communities and trail projects that are a part of The Thread. In addition to privately funded grants, these awards include grants from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund for land acquisition.
Applications for the remaining 2013 implementation grant cycles are due August 9 and October 18, 2013. For more information, visit carolinathreadtrail.org or contact Carolina Thread Trail Grants and Community Coordinator Randi Gates at 704-376-2556 (x217) or email@example.com.
American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is the country’s largest celebration of trails. The organization designates June 1 of each year to celebrate trails across the country through volunteer workdays, stewardship events and trail openings. The Carolina Thread Trail will be participating in this event with two volunteer workdays, one in Lincoln County and in Cabarrus County, and a trail opening at Buffalo Creek Preserve!
COME OUT AND CELEBRATE WITH US!
Register for these volunteer workdays scheduled for National Trails Day:
Volunteers are needed at Buffalo Creek Preserve on Saturday, June 1 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Assistance is needed to create the trailhead area, install mile markers and fence the parking area. Also on June 1 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., a work day will be held on the Sally’s YMCA Trail, in Denver, NC.
BUFFALO CREEK PRESERVE TRAIL OPENS!
The Buffalo Creek Preserve Trail will open June 1. This scenic natural surface trail weaves through an oak savannah and young pine forest, and is located in the town of Mt. Pleasant in Cabarrus County. Housed on conserved land protected by Catawba Lands Conservancy, this 2-mile trail provides a natural buffer for Adams Creek and a great path for jogging and walking. Corporate partners like Duke Energy, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, REI and Husqvarna engaged their employees and resources to also help build this trail. The oak savannah was created by a prescribed burn conducted by CLC last fall. Today, native wildflowers and grasses are sprouting, ideal cover and food for insects and birds.
Buffalo Creek Preserve is located at 8510 Malibu Rd. near the intersection of Mt. Pleasant Road South and Malibu Road. After the workday activities conclude, around 11:30 a.m., families and children are welcomed to be among the first to jog, walk or run this new beautiful national surface trail. A brief ribbon cutting will also be held. We look forward to seeing you there on June 1!
Congratulations to Governing Board Members Ruth G. Shaw and Michael Marsicano, and TreesCharlotte Executive Director Dave Cable who received 2013 Creative Thinkers Awards from the Carolinas Chapter of the Counselors of Real Estate.
Each received the award which honors their roles as trailblazers for The Thread and recognizes the savvy thinking, leadership and partnerships they cultivated laying the groundwork for our trail network. Loren Kennedy, CRE Chair of the Carolinas Chapter, explained the purpose of the award. “These awards are aimed at honoring leaders who exhibited one or more of the following: out-of-the-box thinking; treated obstacles and risks as opportunities for novel solutions; made cutting-edge decisions; or did something that resulted in a paradigm shift in thinking about a subject.” Check out these videos from Ruth and Michael about why The Thread is important to them and our region.