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For decades, greenspace advocates in Montgomery have eyed an incredible, town-owned assets in close proximity to downtown as a likely internet site for a new park. The proposed community area even has a name: Cypress Character Park.

Others have longed for the metropolis to make leisure trails that would superior join neighborhoods and capitalize on Montgomery’s historic and all-natural assets.

People conversations are turning to motion as the metropolis, Montgomery County and a nonprofit team collaborate on a grasp plan for both equally Cypress Character Park and a citywide path community.

Just one piece in the puzzle could be under development afterwards this yr: a new trailhead and tiny park north of downtown along the Alabama River close to the Montgomery Marina/RV Park and famed Capitol Metropolis Oyster Bar. Options contact for developing a bicycle and pedestrian path south from the trailhead, all the way back to the present downtown Montgomery Riverwalk.


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Meanwhile, the nonprofit River Region Trails expects to receive inside a couple months the initial phase of a learn plan for Cypress Mother nature Park and the path network. The doc, which is remaining organized by a private consulting group, was funded in aspect by the nonprofit Alabama Electricity Foundation and will assistance guideline the nonprofit trails group and general public officers on the ideal, upcoming ways forward.

“We’re hoping to get from knowing what this could be to defining what it need to be, focusing on our all round objectives for improving upon Montgomery,” reported Will O’Connor, River Areas Trails govt director. “We want to make what we can construct now to build momentum for a lot more.”

At the heart of the parks/trails vision is the proposed Cypress Mother nature Park, a 260-acre parcel northeast of downtown, just north of the city’s historic Oakwood Cemetery. The parcel contains a gorgeous wetland space with mature black tupelo, h2o tupelo and bald cypress trees. From the wetland, the land rises 100 feet to a scenic bluff.

O’Connor stated the traits of the web site point out it may perhaps have at the time been component of the Alabama River, which now meanders earlier the city much less than a mile absent. The home is blessed with pure springs and seeps and is a haven for hundreds of species of birds, together with butterflies, a selection of bugs and invertebrates, and mammals, such as racoon and deer.

He said couple of in city are mindful of the site, although it is visited periodically by neighborhood higher education biology learners. As a possible park, O’Connor and other advocates imagine a host of amenities at the website, from a boardwalk trail by the wetlands, to mountaineering and biking trails, to interpretative signage and outside school rooms, earning it a vacation spot for environmental instruction. It would also be an amenity for a expanding amount of downtown loft and apartment dwellers.

“Most possible, the preliminary improvement aim would be the park,” O’Connor claimed, while the grasp program will deliver steerage. He mentioned the first hope is to start growth of the park in the next two many years, with help from the city and other funders.

The more substantial, lengthy-term picture  – just one that is possible consider quite a few many years to refine and complete – envisions a 30-mile leisure path, looping via multiple Montgomery neighborhoods and connecting to Cypress Mother nature Park. Tying into the “Loop” would be a community of scaled-down trails and sidewalks totaling 50 miles of pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly routes for the community.

The loop – a precise route hasn’t been finalized – would make use of discontinued railway legal rights-of-way in some areas and newly made trails in some others. It would website link to the Selma-to-Montgomery Nationwide Historic Path that cuts by west Montgomery to the point out Capitol and join with other town parks and historic web pages.

O’Connor reported the firm is wanting closely at a six-mile area of privately held railroad appropriate-of-way, heading southeast from in close proximity to downtown, that could develop into the first “spine” of the trail loop. If that area can be formulated into a path, “it will get started to clearly show how impactful this could be.”

He said the trail community would weave city neighborhoods closer alongside one another, with inviting stroll paths and sidewalks. The community has the opportunity to raise assets values, motivate residential and small business development, and entice travellers. It could also aid improve the well being of the group by offering inhabitants an very easily obtainable leisure asset for physical fitness and worry aid, not to point out furnishing a secure, alternate process for people to transfer around city without having a vehicle.

“Our trail can present unique matters to various persons,” O’Connor mentioned, “It promises several added benefits for the local community.”

City officials are enthusiastic about the probable impacts of the Loop and Cypress Character Park.

“We are enthusiastic to advertise the Loop as a way for locals and people alike to get out and love the present city trails that hook up downtown and the Alabama River with a stunning density of general public artwork, amazing destinations, deep history and excellent views,” claimed Jocelyn Zanzot, an city planner with the City of Montgomery. “Overall, we are incredibly enthusiastic to husband or wife with River Location Trails to make these new opportunities for checking out Montgomery probable.”

John Steiner is a board member of River Location Trails and chairman of the board of the The Mother nature Conservancy’s Alabama chapter. He stated River Location Trails is operating with other partners and specialists, such as associates of regional universities, on the park and trails program. He stated the master prepare will enable sketch out a roadmap for the projects, but also offer facts that can be utilised to broaden the conversation with the neighborhood and with opportunity community and private-sector funders.

O’Connor stated community input and participation will be essential as ideas establish, to make sure local community acquire-in and develop assist.

“The Cypress Character Park is a magnificent part of Montgomery,” reported Leslie Sanders, vice president of Alabama Power’s Southern Division, which is headquartered in the town. “When we talk about revolutionary and fascinating options to increase the top quality of lifestyle for all those in Montgomery, and the visitor expertise, the do the job of River Region Trails must be pretty in close proximity to the leading.

“Few towns have these an possibility to convey with each other this sort of various and exclusive recreational and academic opportunities. The trails and park will be important to the expanding narrative that Montgomery is a fantastic location to dwell, function and go to.”

To learn more about the park and trails prepare and how to support the hard work, take a look at the River Region Trails internet site at www.riverregiontrails.org.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)