MillionMile Greenway announces first grantees
(Atlanta, Georgia)

MillionMile Greenway announced the first-ever recipients of the organization’s grant program. Through grants and volunteer expertise, MMG will mentor and fund nonprofits dedicated to preserving green space and building trails across the southeast. The first grant recipients are Yahoola Creek Trails Conservancy, Coastal Georgia Greenway and Northeast Georgia Regional Commission.

Yahoola Creek Trails Conservancy and Coastal Georgia Greenway are both recipients of community starter grants which provide $1,500 in cash along with up to $10,000 in pro bono marketing and technology consulting services. The Northeast Georgia Regional Commission will receive a Community Technology Grant, which provides up to $5,000 in pro bono technology consulting services using impressive mapping technology.

Grants were awarded based on the groups’ conservation activity, connections or proximity to other greenways and trails, and opportunities for enhancing recreation opportunities.

MillionMile Greenway founder and president, Jim Langford, who oversaw the selection process with the group’s board said, “These first grant recipients epitomize ideal greenway projects.  They’re filling a need in their communities, they are well supported there, and they are well on their way to providing solutions to greenway challenges. Our hope is that with our support, they can see their efforts come to fruition faster and more effectively.”

About the grant recipients

Yahoola Creek Trails Conservancy (YCTC) uses advocacy, education, research, communication, cooperation and monitoring to protect and preserve the Yahoola Creek Trail System and its watershed, ultimately creating greenspace corridors within Lumpkin County. Lumpkin County and the City of Dahlonega jointly own a drinking water reservoir and the surrounding 240 acres. This land is undeveloped, scenic and within one-half mile of the city center of Dahlonega. YCTC works closely with city and county officials to plan, design and build a new 3.3 mile trail circling reservoir and provides controlled, passive access to this public greenspace.

Coastal Georgia Greenway will work with Georgia’s six coastal counties and numerous cities to build a 155-mile trail to link South Carolina to Florida. This trail will be a significant component of the national East Coast Greenway that will connect from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida. Highlights of the Coastal Georgia-East Coast Greenway Trail are its impressive connections between existing wildlife preserves, natural areas, parks and historic districts – over 115,800 acres. The trail, lying within the Gullah-Geechee National Heritage Corridor and the Altamaha Scenic-Historic Byway, will provide non-motorized access to these sites, increasing visitation and awareness of coastal Georgia’s natural beauty.

Northeast Georgia Regional Commission was contracted by the Georgia DOT to perform bicycle and pedestrian planning for the 2008 – 2009 fiscal year. The Regional Greenways Study is a component of this contract, which also includes funding for rails-to-trails, safe routes to school, and a localized greenway plan for Athens-Clarke County. The study will provide a broad framework for the regional commission’s greenway and trail planning for 12 counties and 54 cities.