$50K needed to complete Tweetsie Trail

Published 8:44 am Thursday, July 9, 2015

In order for the Tweetsie Trail project to be completed by Labor Day, Tweetsie Trail Task Force Chairman Dan Schumaier said a total of $50,000 needs to be raised.
“We’re in the throes of completing the trail,” Schumaier said. “We have 2.7 miles of the trail that needs to be completed.”
The speed at which the project is being completed thus far is attributed to the fact that no federal or state funds have been sought.
“We’ve got a fundraiser going on right now,” he said. “We’ve had number of people make significant donations.”
Two donations were made by Carter County Bank and Bill Greene totaling $15,000 at the July meeting Tuesday.
“We have a mailer going out to people in Carter County,” Schumaier said. “We’re asking the people in the community to help us fund the trail.”
If people continue to donate the way they have been recently, Schumaier sees no issue in completing the downtown Elizabethton portion of the trail on time.
The next and final section will stretch from Holly Lane to Hatcher Lane neat Snap-On Tools.
“We’re hoping we’re going to be able to start construction very soon,” he said.
A committee was recently formed to plan the ceremony for opening the last portion of the trail.
“Plans are in the works now,” Schumaier said. “We want to celebrate the completion of the trail on Labor Day. The committee is made up of primarily people from Elizabethton. There will be activities all along the trail during the next Labor Day.”
Plans and designs for the Tweetsie Trail entrance sign on the Elizabethton side are also being discussed, he said.
“We’ll be deciding on what it will look like,” he said. “We want to make it look really nice.”
During the Tuesday meeting, representatives from Elizabethton Golf Course and Pine Oaks Golf Course and Johnson City Commissioner Jenny Brock presented a fundraising idea to hold a two-day golf tournament.
“We’re trying to establish the dates for that,” he said. “People will play two days — one time in Johnson City and one time in Elizabethton.”
The Task Force hopes to see this fundraiser become an annual way to earn funds for future maintenance of the trail.
“We also discussed an Adopt-A-Trail program,” he said. “We not have several organizations who have adopted a portion of the trail to help keep it clean.”
A Rotary shelter was recently built on the portion of the trail near the quarry. The project was completed by all four Rotary clubs in the area, Schumaier said.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” Schumaier said. “It’s almost like a classroom amphitheater. It’s about a $33,000 contribution to the trail.”
Some signage, benches and labels for the benches are expected to be put in place in coming weeks. Schumaier also asks the public to keep an eye open for brochures being placed in various business in Elizabethton.
“One is called the Tweetsie Trail and it has a map of the entire trail,” Schumaier said. “It’s pretty neat. They did another one called Rails to Trails. They are more about the history of the trail.”

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