Funding the Dresden Green Rail Trail

A2H developed the Master Plan for this new parks and trail project along an abandoned railroad bed in Dresden, Tennessee. The project objective was to transform the rail into a 10-foot wide multimodal pathway. This one-mile segment will serve as a linear connector from surrounding communities to the city’s multiple parks and recreational facilities including a skate park, neighborhood playground and amphitheater. The designs included site furnishings and lighting fixtures along the trail. The only way to complete a project of this magnitude was to obtain outside funding.

Identifying Appropriate Sources

One of the major challenges for this ambitious project was identifying potential funding sources. Through a collaborative process with the City of Dresden, A2H identified three distinct grant programs that could potentially cover a large portion of the project’s cost: one through the USDA and two others administered by the state.

Developing the Applications

A2H prepared the grant applications, using the previously developed master plan, to secure the funding for Phases 1, 2 and 3. Phase 1 was completed last week with the opening of the Dresden Farmer’s Market Pavilion. The project was awarded $70,000 in USDA and Rural Development grants. Phase 2 was awarded $400,000 in Transportation Alternative and Phase 3 was awarded $200,000 in Recreational Trails Program grants for the green rail trail.

The Results

The development will provide local residents a choice to utilize alternative methods of transportation, which will reduce current vehicular traffic and ultimately make Dresden a more walkable, connected and livable community. If not for outside funding, this project would have been too costly for the city to undertake on its own.