Work on Summerville trail set to start this summer

Work on Summerville trail set to start this summer

May 4th, 2013 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

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

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

Planned Summerville, Ga., trail

Photo by Laura McNutt/Times Free Press.

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.