Clear Creek Greenway Trail

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Greenway Trail only needs $30,000- An announcement was made in January that the Shelby County Parks Foundation needed $100,000 to match a Recreational Trails Program matching grant. The grant to be used for Phase 3 of the Greenway Trail. The community responded – $71,315 has been donated by individuals and businesses!

Volunteer consultant Clay Cottongim said six of the donations came from anonymous sources, ranging from $2,500 to $22,000. “Those really made the difference in our attempt to match the $100,000,” Cottongim said, quickly adding, however, “Yet all gifts are definitely appreciated – from $15 to $500.”

The Foundation needs to raise the remaining $30,000 so that bids can be issued for the project and break ground in May or June. The ground should be dry by then so two currently donated signs can be placed along Phase 2, according to Cottongim who added, “Others to honor or memorialize loved ones can be purchased for $300 each. We are also seeking $1,000 gifts for benches to scatter along the trails. I know it sounds like we’re always for a lot of money but it’s for such a good cause and there’s no adequate way to express our thanks to those who respond.”

NOTE- Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Greenway Trail, c/o Parks Foundation, 717 Burks Branch Road, Shelbyville KY 40065. Submitted by Duanne B. Puckett, Foundation volunteer.

STORY BELOW EXPLAINS THE MATCHING GRANT THAT WAS RECEIVED…

Shelby County Parks Foundation has received its third $100,000 Recreational Trails Program matching grant to continue the Greenway Trail project. Cash donations are now being sought to match the grant, which will fund Phase 3 of the trail that provides accessible paths along Clear Creek.

Clay Cottongim, volunteer consultant for the Foundation, said, “We greatly appreciate the generosity of individuals and businesses who have supported us starting with Phase 1. I am thrilled to announce that over 100 percent of the first two $100,000 grants totaling $206,150 came from the community without any use of tax dollars.” Also $100,000 of the donated funds came from J. Clifford Todd, who donated $50,000, and another $50,000 anonymous donor.

He also commended Barry Campbell for the countless hours he has spent on all three phases, providing his expertise to excavate the ground for the paths and the construction of the wet bridge. “It’s devotion like that which shows Shelby County citizens believe in the Greenway Trail,” said Cottongim. The paved paths will eventually follow Clear Creek from east Main Street to Lake Shelby. Then if future grants and donations are continued to be received, the Parks Foundation and Parks Department will continue phases from Main Street south to Red Orchard Park.

The current phase plan runs through an easement donated by the Shelby County Board of Education, on its ballpark complex property on Burks Branch Road. The trail will run northward to where a wet bridge will be constructed across Clear Creek. That will then connect with the paved paths to Brentwood subdivision and Painted Stone Elementary. The trail will eventually switch and run southward to connect with Phase 2, which is partially completed with an entrance near Calvary Cemetery on North Seventh Street.

Phase 1, which starts on the east side of North Seventh near the railroad overpass, has also been extended to the East End Bridge, allowing users to follow a paved path to Main Street.

Cottongim explained that leftover funds from the grant also purchased a Mahindra UTV to keep the paths clean. Mud sometimes covers the trail after a heavy rain and the creek exceeds the banks. The American-made piece of equipment, bought from a local dealer, can scrape mud, plow snow and blow leaves to make for a safe pathway.

Cottongim said, “The overall scope of the Greenway Trail is to appeal to citizens of all ages. Students, for example, can access the trails for studying nature. Families can use the paths by walking or riding bikes as recreation. Anyone can walk or jog the paths for exercise while enjoying a personal connection with the creek, once called the Emerald Necklace of the town, as well as nature at its best.”

The Recreational Trails Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. Grants may be used to provide assistance for acquisition of easements; development and/or maintenance of recreational trails; and trailhead facilities for both motorized and non-motorized use.  The state’s philosophy in providing these grants is two-fold: promoting physical activities for citizens and promoting tourism activities in various communities.

Parks Foundation volunteers are now seeking tax-deductible donations to match the $100,000 grant. Checks can be sent to Shelby County Parks Foundation, 715 Burks Branch Rd, Shelbyville KY 40065, noting donation to Greenway Trail.

Cottongim said, “Because of our new UTV, all seasons can be enjoyed from the Trail’s vantage point that places citizens eye-to-eye with Clear Creek. People are also face-to-face with nature and exposed to wildlife even though they are close to town!”

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New trail ready

Greenway Trail Phase II is now open to the public… hikers, bikers, walkers, runners, baby strollers, wheelchairs! The blacktopped trail along Clear Creek was funded by a $100,000 Federal Recreational Trails Grant and $100,000 in private donations to match the grant.

The Greenway Trail started with Phase I off North Seventh Street, across from the Serenity Center and traveling to the bridge at East Main. Phase II is also off North Seventh Street, using the same entrance as Calvary Cemetery and marked with a sign designating the area as the Citizens Union Bank Community Park since the business donated 22 acres in that area to the Parks Foundation.

Individuals wanting to help the Foundation can contact Cottongim at 502-321-0612 or send donations to Greenway Trail, c/o Parks Foundation, 717 Burks Branch Road, Shelbyville KY 40065.

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$10,000 has been donated

Farrier Products Distribution, a Shelby County business since 1990, has donated $10,000 to the Parks Foundation … meeting the $100,000 matching grant that was received from the state. Construction can begin this fall on Phase 2.

Parks Consultant Clay Cottongim said the funds continue the project that provides an accessible path for people walking or jogging, mothers with baby strollers, children on bikes and even people in wheelchairs.

There are other phases planned for the Greenway Trail as well as the need for signage, benches, picnic tables and ongoing maintenance. Cottongim reminded citizens that tax-deductible donations can be mailed to the Parks Foundation, 715 Burks Branch Road, Shelbyville KY 40065.