It is at the local community level, where successful trail networks begin.
-Brandywine Conservancy, Community Trails Handbook
The "Tea Party" Incident
The Floyd County Commission declined to accept a $450K GDOT grant with an 80/20 match to extend the Heritage Trail Network 1.5 miles into Summerville Park neighborhood. Citizens gathered at Cycle Therapy (thumbnail picture) bike shop and realized that the local trails weren't a government priority. A then-unnamed trail advocacy group was formed that would later become TRED (Trails for Recreation and Economic Development) and $85K was raised from public and private donations to pressure the Commission to approve the grant.
GRANTS AND SPLOST
TRED is officially a 501c3 organization with a volunteer Board of Directors. Julie Smith is President, Harry Brock, Jim Hunter, Jerry Jennings, and Mark Webb are members at large. The mission statement and logo (thumbnail picture) is crafted.
TRED presents Floyd County a check for $43,111 for Redmond Trail. RNT Article.
TRED receives a $7000 grant from Million Mile Greenway to aid in connecting trails.
TRED receives a $30K donation from The Heart of the Community.
TRED receives a $25K donation from General Electric Corporation.
New Belgium Brewing donates $2500 to TRED for printing of trail maps.
The City of Rome asks TRED to co-author a SPLOST application to construct the Mt Berry Trail. The SPLOST barely passes.
Jackson Hill Trails
At the request of the city of Rome, Jackson Hill Trails are built by TRED volunteers, 5 miles of looping trails inside the city limits. Runners, cyclists, dog walkers and others flock to the trails, thrilled with the convenience of having an urban wilderness in town (thumbnail picture)
2014 TRED receives the "Quality of Life" Award from Rome Downtown Development for trail connection and enhancement efforts.
World traveling cyclist, Willie Weir, headlines a TRED fundraising event and over $10,000 is raised.
UTC, GP and GE
TRED receives a $5000 grant from Georgia Power.
TRED partners with Berry College Bonner Scholars Program.
"Paint the Trails with Art", an art show fundraiser for TRED, is very successful, raising over $15,000.
The Lucky Seven's Trail race begins at Jackson Hill to call attention to the mountain bike and running trails.
2016 TRED becomes the organizing body and beneficiary of Up the Creek Century Bike Ride in April. (thumbnail picture)
The City of Rome approaches TRED with the idea of creating trails on the recently purchased GE plant property in West Rome. Volunteers start clearing and building trails in July.
GE Trails and SPLOST
The GE Trails at Garrard Park celebrate the grand opening with a ribbon cutting in February. (thumbnail picture)
TRED and Floyd County apply for SPLOST funding for the Lindale/Silver Creek Extension Trail and are approved by the committee in November. SPLOST passes overwhelmingly for the first time by over 60%.
Mt. Berry and Blossom Hill Trails
The City of Rome approves a trail extension from Jackson Hill to Blossom Hill and trail work begins.
Construction begins on the 2013 SPLOST funded Mt Berry Trail.
Eagle Scout candidates from Troop 34 construct trail amenities for GE Trails and Jackson Hill. (thumbnail picture)
Hardy Realty grants TRED $10K.
Executive Director, Mt Berry Trail and Pandemic
2020 to present
The TRED Board of Directors hires long time volunteer president, Julie Smith, to serve as the first paid executive director.
TRED welcomes new board members, Steve Gunther and Strom Mull
Construction finishes on the Mt Berry Trail (2013 SPLOST) and a ribbon cutting is held with over 100 people in attendance.
People nationwide flock to outdoor spaces and trail usage increases 200% during the COVID19 shut down. The newly opened Mt Berry Trail is a popular destination.
TRED begins the TRED Head campaign. TRED Head, noun, A person who understands that trails contribute to healthier communities, make economic sense, are inclusive of everyone, serve as transportation corridors, decrease mental stress, and overall create happier people.
The first female Eagle Scout in NW Georgia, Carolyn Smyth, builds concrete benches for her Eagle project and places them at GE Trails.
The Redmond Trail Project 1, the impetus for TRED's formation, is placed for bid by Floyd County.
TRED starts the Walk and Talk series (see home page).
TRED Goals and Upcoming Projects
2021 and beyond
We are hopeful that by 2022 the Lindale Trail Extension will be underway. This 2017 SPLOST funded trail will extend the current trails 3.5 miles from the end of the Kingfisher Trail (East 12th St) to downtown Lindale using abandoned Norfolk Southern Rail line. See Lindale Trail SPLOST video on the Resources page)
8.24.21 Construction begins on the long-awaited Redmond Trail Connection. TRED presents a $25K check to Floyd County to help offset the construction overage cost of the 10 year project. The trail should be open by Spring 2022 and will connect the Mt Berry and Avenue A/Levee Trails.
2.22 A bridge company is chosen by the city for the Mt Berry II continuation over Big Dry Creek that will extend the trail to the west side of Armuchee Bypass Bridge. The project will happen in 3 phases, bridge, bridge installation and then trail construction and it is anticipated to be finished by early 2023.
TRED's goals are to connect all four local colleges via trails.
THE TRED TEAM
Meet the TRED Board of Directors:
Julie Blanton Smith
Treasurer, Board Member