Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed and city councilman Clay McInnis joined members of the Montgomery Fire Department and representatives from AARP to open a brand new pop-up trail on Friday October 8th.
The trail, located near Mary Ann Neely Park in Old Cloverdale, runs for six blocks and will be open through October 24th. However, this trail is just a test for a planned permanent trail that will eventually run for 85 miles throughout the city. According to Reed “these trails will connect the city in a unique way” and are funded by a Community Challenge Grant from AARP, One of only 240 such grants awarded nationwide this year.
The plan for the trails, according to River Region Trails, will start with a 30 mile connected loop that will link downtown and East Montgomery running through many neighborhoods on the way. It will follow existing and abandoned railway lines, creek beds, streets and sidewalks and run through the Cypress Nature Preserve near downtown.
The series of pop-up trails planned will allow residents to see the impact the trail will have in their neighborhood. The city will then conduct a survey with residents and the neighborhood will decide if that section becomes permanent. One positive note for citizens, says River Region Trails, is that studies show that ‘trails and greenways typically increase property values 2 to 5%.’ Residents in this section of Cloverdale say there has been a problem with fast traffic in the area and they are hopeful that the trail markers will slow it down.
McInnis says he is “humbled and honored to be a small piece of the project” and Reed announced that 70 Alabama State University students have volunteered to clean up along this section of trail in the coming days.
To walk the pop-up trail visit Mary Anne Neely Park located at 2220 College Street and for more information visit riverregiontrails.org.