McMinnville officials are still considering phase two of the greenway by connecting Sally’s Alley to Rocket Park with a new walking trail beside the Barren Fork River.
Officials are eyeing a grant from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) that could be used to purchase private-owned land between Sally’s Alley and Rocket Park.
The trail to connect the parks has been under consideration for the last year. However, property owners Barry Barnes and Paul Michael Barnes had concerns about giving the city an easement onto their property for a public trail and would prefer the city purchase their land, if possible.
TDEC is offering a trails grant that could be used to purchase the land, says city attorney Tim Pirtle.
“It looks like this trails grant might be a source of funding to acquire the privately owned tract,” he said.
Mayor Jimmy Haley says he is looking to another grant opportunity and he has contacted Tennessee Department of Transportation to obtain permission to use the land under the bridge on Beersheba Highway.
The workshop to discuss grant opportunities is being offered in Nashville. Attending the event will be McMinnville Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord and assistant director Justin Scott.
Phase one of the greenway connecting Riverfront Park to Pepper Branch Park was complete several years ago and is a popular place for local residents.
Even on a cold February day, the park and the trails are utilized by locals. It’s a popular spot for lunchers to take a break during the day to eat, read a book or even take a little walk. The Riverfront ducks are always a hit with visitors, rain or shine.
Resident Trey Nelson uses the walking trail quite often, especially in nice weather.
“On this cold day, Foster (his dog) and I are enjoying the trail,” said Nelson. “Foster needed some time out, so we decided to take a walk.” Nelson relocated to McMinnville from Crossville, but hails from Mississippi, saying Warren County is a nice place to live.
“I just love the greenway,” says Marlena Lawson. “It’s a beautiful place to walk our dogs.”