The Carolina Thread Trail Governing Board recently awarded four implementation grants, totaling $268,069, 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 for The Thread. The grant award amount, community information and the use of the grants follow:
Nation Ford Land Trust – $7,500 (York County)
Grant money awarded to the Nation Ford Land Trust will be used to help fund the construction of an approximately 30 foot long suspension bridge along the Nation Ford Greenway. Currently, this tributary crossing is the missing link between two built segments of the Nation Ford Greenway and The Thread. Once constructed, two contiguous miles of trail will be available to users of this already popular trail.
Catawba Lands Conservancy – $150,000 (Catawba/Lincoln Counties)
Funds awarded to Catawba Lands Conservancy (CLC) will be used for the design, permitting, acquisition of an access easement and trailhead, and construction of a gravel parking area, approximately three miles of natural surface trail and a canoe launch at CLC’s Viles Preserve. Located along the South Fork River in Catawba and Lincoln counties, the Viles Preserve is 284 permanently conserved natural acres that protect water quality, scenic views and open space and wildlife habitat. This grant will provide funding to create a cross-county trail on the property with direct access off of Blackburn Bridge Road. The trail will enhance the quality of life for neighboring communities by allowing the public to enjoy the natural ecology of this preserved land, access to and along the river, recreation, exercise and educational opportunities.
Town of Waxhaw – $46,069 (Union County)
Grant money awarded to the Town of Waxhaw will be used to relocate an existing drive and pave an existing gravel parking lot off of Waxhaw Marvin Road that directly connects to a .5-mile paved trail. This community trail was originally built as part of the Prescot Subdivision but has recently been transferred over to the Town of Waxhaw’s ownership, along with the gravel parking lot. Currently, there is no access to the parking lot from a public street; therefore the parking lot cannot be utilized by Carolina Thread Trail users. Funds from this grant will be used to create public access, as well as providing handicap access to the trail via a paved parking area.
City of Shelby – $64,500 (Cleveland County)
Funds awarded to the City of Shelby will be used to design, permit and construct approximately two miles of natural surface trail, as well as one canoe access point along the First Broad River in Shelby. This is a high-momentum corridor for The Thread; Shelby has received funding for both corridor design and land acquisition in past grant cycles for trail activity along the river. The City of Shelby recently acquired a 50 foot wide trail easement along the First Broad River on property owned by the Blanton Family Trust. This segment of The Thread will connect West Grover Street to approximately .5-mile south of US 74. The City of Shelby has been working in conjunction with the Cleveland County Health Department to promote and create healthy community initiatives, and is a partner in the Cleveland County Eat Smart Move More Coalition. Shelby is a strong supporter of and partner to The Thread and believes trails are necessary to build a healthy, vibrant community.
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 119 miles of trails that are currently open to the public throughout The Thread’s 15-county region.
To date, The Thread has awarded more than $7.6 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 CWMTF for land acquisition.
Applications for the next grant cycle are due 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.