Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Charlotte Residents Come Together to Build 500 Miles of Trails

Aug. 6, 2010, 7:26 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

 

 

 
Carolina Thread Trail

A small post in the Charlotte Observer this week caught my attention: The Carolina Thread Trail has now invested more than $1 million in community grants for trail development.

For a 15-county initiative with more than 500 miles of trails that will take 15-20 years to build out, this may seem a small figure. But these community grants are the first step in bringing residents together to plan and decide on the best routes for the trails. Knight Foundation has supported these sessions with a $1 million grant for the early planning of the trail.

As the trails are first envisioned, planned and then built, they'll link together to create a "green interstate" of walking and biking paths circling Charlotte.

Near center city Charlotte today, we'll celebrate the completion on one such link. Little Sugar Creek , once the most polluted creek in town, has been literally uncovered and a new linear park built alongside it. Little Sugar Creek Greenway is part of the Thread Trail, and a visible part of it. Unlike more rural or forested stretches of the greenway, this section along a major street to uptown has a more urban feel with fountains, a clock tower and a kiosk offering a restroom and spot to buy drinks.

It has taken years and millions of dollars to complete, but what a transformation.