WAXHAW, NC – Our town’s section of the Carolina Thread Trail, the Twelve Mile Creek Greenway, is set to be expanded and refurbished with funds from a $50,000 portion of the Carolina Thread Trail Implementation Grant Program. This program distributed roughly $750,000 in grant money to be allocated to 16 area cities and non-profit organizations. The Twelve Mile Creek Greenway is North Carolina’s 1.4 mile section of the larger Twelve Mile Creek Trail, running for several more miles into South Carolina, connecting the two states by way of a 170-foot suspension bridge over Twelve Mile Creek. Access to the trailhead is at the back of H.C. Nesbit Park, just off of Kensington Road in Waxhaw.
Funding for this greenway revitalization project was made available amid the Carolina Thread Trail’s new fundraising campaign launched earlier this year, which aims to raise $13 million in hopes of adding 191 miles of trail to the existing 300 miles of greenway and 170 miles of blueway that make up the Carolina Thread Trail. While fundraisers like these are important contributors to the development and maintenance of these trails, much trail funding comes from local governments. Carolina Thread Trail executive director Bart Landess said in CTT documents that local governments match CTT private funding at a rate as high as 20 to 1. He said that the 15 partnering towns and 88 municipalities in the CTT network are the ones that really make it happen.
Carolina Thread Trail program director Jon White wrote, when describing the trail’s history, that the trail was intended from its beginning in 2007 to be owned, built, and maintained at the local level in the name of the sustainability of the network. He said that the program serves communities by providing the tools necessary to invest in outdoor resources. The Carolina Thread Trail began in 2007 through the Catawba Land Conservancy but has since evolved into its own separate organization. The trail organization’s goal is to impact connectedness and conservation in the communities that it serves, hoping to grow to a length of 1,600 miles.
2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Trails System Act, which aimed to raise awareness and assist communities in planning and developing of many different types of trails across the state. In honor of this anniversary, and in attempts to raise awareness of the benefits of the many trail systems in our state, state leaders passed HB 554, designating 2023 as the Year of the Trail. The North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation will encourage special events and festivities in trail-hosting communities throughout the year with assistance from N.C. Great Trails State Coalition. North Carolina’s House budget includes a $29.25 million dollar Complete the Trails Fund that will be maintained and distributed through N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation’s N.C. Trails Program.
To learn more about the Carolina Thread Trail and its planned expansions, visit www.carolinathreadtrail.org or email Carolina Thread Trail Director Bret Baronak at email@example.com.