These milestones will be commemorated at an event on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m., at the West Branch Nature Preserve Trail located in Davidson. At the event, The Thread will unveil a 100th mile marker, which is a specially-commissioned artistic monument that will become a destination for trail users across the region. In addition, nature hikes will be led by Dr. Mark Stanback and Dr. David Grant of Davidson College. This event is free and open to the public. Directional signs will be used starting at the intersection of East Rocky River Road and Shearer Road to direct the public to the event; the nearest street address to the event/trail entrance is 18229 Shearer Road in Davidson.
The Carolina Thread Trail, commonly known as "The Thread," was publicly announced five years ago on Nov. 9, 2007. Launched from a community process lead by the Foundation For The Carolinas to identify our area’s most pressing environmental need, The Thread aspires to connect a 15-county region – Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties within North Carolina and Cherokee, Chester, Lancaster and York counties in South Carolina – with a network of hundreds of miles of trails linking more than two million people to regional destinations, parks, towns, neighborhoods and conservation corridors. Initial startup funding for The Thread came from Foundation For The Carolinas, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the C. D. Spangler Foundation, the Turner Family Foundation, Bank of America, Duke Energy and Wells Fargo.
Over the past five years, there has been great progress advancing the Carolina Thread Trail. With a Governing Board of regional philanthropic and business leaders and Catawba Lands Conservancy serving as the lead agency, thousands of community leaders and citizens have been engaged to develop master plans and implement segments of The Thread. To date:
- 14 counties have completed master plans identifying over 1400 miles of planned and existing trails and projects across the region are being implemented along priority corridors
- $3 million in grants from private funders have been awarded to plan and build trails
- 1,300 acres of preserved land that will house the trail has been permanently protected thanks in large to funding from North Carolina’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund
- 500 volunteers, led by professionally trained Trail Masters, have logged 1,912 volunteer hours towards trail building and maintenance in the past two years
For more information, visit www.carolinathreadtrail.org.