DBA hopes to spruce up downtown with art: 30-mile biking, walking Overmountain Trail possibly on the horizon

Published 3:43 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2017

With a goal of making Elizabethton more inviting for community members and visitors alike, the Downtown Business Association and City of Elizabethton are ready to do their part.
During Thursday’s City Council meeting, officials will vote on whether or not to allow up to four mosaics to be placed in the walkway beside the Coffee Company and Sweetsie Treats in downtown.
Each mosaic would be low profile on the walkway, but provide an additional visual delight for individuals coming into the area.
Blue River Studio, located on Armed Forces Drive in downtown, donated the initial piece of artwork to be placed on the walkway.
Along with the studio, various organizations and businesses, including the Bonnie Kate Theater, East Tennessee Ballet and the Elizabethton Arts & Cultural Alliance, have voiced their excitement of seeing the community receive love in the arts field.
Aspiring artists are encouraged to visit Blue River Studio during regular business hours, check out the Blue River Studio LLC Facebook page online or call (423) 213-5060.
To go along with the arts scene, Elizabethton could soon take advantage of another walking trail.
Council will also vote Thursday on approving a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the United States Department of the Interior, National Parks Service, Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and other city and county governments for development of a 30-mile walking and bike trail.
The MOU encourages the city to contribute $5,000 along with other cities and counties to assist with a 60/40 matching grant from the National Parks Service to come up with a master plan for the trail system.
City Planning and Development Director Jon Hartman stated in a document provided by City Hall that his office was approached by National Park Service staff who were working on the Overmountain Trail, discussing a master plan to link the trail from Abingdon, Virginia to Elizabethton.
Support grew for the initiative, according to Hartman, after seeing the “regional success of the Tweetsie.”
Other entities that will look at contributing to the cause include Overmountain Victory Trail Association Rocky Mount Chapter, Washington County (Va.), Sullivan County, Carter County, Bristol Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization, East Tennessee Foundation, Eastman Chemical Company and Town of Bluff City.

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