DARKE COUNTY — Tecumseh Trail is one step closer to completion following the awarding of a grant from the State of Ohio.
In November, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded the Darke County Park District and the City of Greenville a grant of $236,952 through its Clean Ohio Trail Fund. The joint venture will go toward building a bike/walking path through the city.
Currently, the path extends from Bradford, on the eastern edge of Darke County, to the city limits. The ultimate goal is a complete 18-mile-long bike/walking trail, either sharing existing roadways or on 10-foot-wide paved asphalt, which extends east-to-west across the entire county, reaching Union City.
Ideally, the trail will eventually interconnect with other trails in Ohio and Indiana.
The partnership between Greenville and Darke County Parks is paying dividends according to Greenville Planning & Zoning Director Chad Henry, who calls himself “elated” with the grant award.
“I originally surveyed and helped design Phase I of our recreational trail project in 2002, but unfortunately the city lost funding for the remaining two phases when state money for the program dissipated,” he said. “When Darke County began pursuing this project again years later, I introduced myself to Darke County Park District Roger Van Frank and Administrative Assistant Deb Shiverdecker and offered whatever necessary to assist.”
“With their assistance, in 2014, my department published a ‘Pedestrian Thoroughfare Map’ that identified primary pedestrian walkways throughout the city where multimodal transportation should be promoted,” Henry explained. “Additionally this map included our first route of the city/county recreational trail, which would not only serve to connect our community from east to west, but from the Great Miami River Trail in Piqua to the Cardinal Greenway in Indiana becoming part of a coast-to-coast trail network.”
“Since then, every project we have scored within the city has scored better based upon not only the vehicles it has expedited through, but the pedestrians it facilitated as well. Darke County Parks has been incredible to work with to advance these ideas, as without the inspiration and cooperation that has occurred we may be likely searching for funding rather than implementing the awards. Slowly, what was once a radical idea is becoming reality and I could not be more ecstatic for it,” he added.
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