The Trust for Public Land is turning its attention to Hixson, and one city official says it's about time.
"I have the impression we've been left out in Hixson in the greenway project," City Councilman Jerry Mitchell said at the recent Hixson Community Breakfast organized by the Friends of Hixson and the Hixson Kiwanis Club. "I think it's our turn now."
Several people in attendance at the meeting, which featured TPL Tennessee State Director Rick Wood as its speaker, applauded Mitchell's comments.
TPL is busy obtaining access to land surrounding the North Chickamauga Creek to connect already existing portions of the North Chickamauga Creek Greenway, Wood reported.
The nonprofit organization is working with the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy to identify landowners and a potential route from Greenway Farms around Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency land in Hixson to the Clear Creek Church of Christ property and on to Hixson Middle School. The greenway will connect to an already existing concrete pathway near HMS that was built on an easement of land belonging partially to the Hamilton County Department of Education and partially to Morning Pointe of Hixson.
"We've been given an easement all along the Clear Creek Church of Christ property," Wood told the meeting's attendees. "The church has been very excited about access to this trail."
The first potential route through the Clear Creek property was deemed too wet, so officials are going back to the drawing board to determine a new route closer to the church, said Wood.
The city recently announced that funds have been released to do a study of C.B. Robinson Bridge to determine if the bridge is safe for cyclists or pedestrians, he said. Depending on the results of the study, Wood said the bridge could serve as a connection between the Riverwalk downtown and the North Chickamauga Creek trailhead. He said one possibility could be using one lane as a pedestrian and cyclist crossing.
Wood said he hopes a firm will be selected to conduct the study within the next 30-45 days.
The economic impact of connecting the Riverwalk to Hixson could be huge, he added, as the Riverwalk has approximately 1.5 million users.