Spartanburg welcomes The Dan, a 32-mile unified trail system
Mary Black Foundation announces $1M in support for transformative community endeavor
Friday, September 6, 2019 8:15 am
Spartanburg is home to The Dan. Once completed, the revolutionary 32-mile trail system will traverse neighborhoods throughout the community, connecting residents for generations to come.
Hundreds of Spartanburg residents joined together Thursday evening at the FR8 Yard downtown as Partners for Active Living announced the name of the trail system, its logo and website, as well as a $1 million contribution by the Mary Black Foundation.
John Montgomery, who is chairman of the committee leading the trails project, said he envisions a Saturday morning in the near future where his family wakes up on a Saturday morning and rides bicycles across the community.
“I can’t wait to walk or bicycle with my kids from Glendale near our home to downtown Spartanburg for lunch. Or, as they get older, riding all of the way to the downtown airport to play and watch planes take off,” Montgomery said. “We are developing The Dan to do just that. Trails connect communities and help to bridge divides. Our system will reach Glendale Shoals, pass through downtown, connect to Harvest Park on the Northside, and leave the city limits near the downtown airport on the Westside. This network will connect neighborhoods to each other.”
Named in honor of Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan, The Dan will connect 11 existing miles of trails in the urban area with 21 new miles. To date, the effort has added the Upper and Lower Drayton Trails, the first phase of the River Birch Trail, and most recently the Westview Elementary School connector with the Westside Neighborhood Association. In early October, construction will begin on a 1.2-mile trail along the Fairforest Creek and Vanderbilt Road, connecting the Northside to the western portion of the community. In a few weeks, the downtown trail connection from the Rail Trail to Barnet Park is slated to begin. And in early 2020, the Lower Drayton Trail will be extended under the Norfolk Southern trestle toward the old Spartanburg High School and Cottonwood Trail.
The ambitious project would not be possible without numerous community partners providing resources and financial support, including Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, the City of Spartanburg, Spartanburg County and many others.
On Thursday, the Mary Black Foundation announced $1 million in support for the creation of The Dan.
Molly Talbot-Metz, CEO of Mary Black Foundation said, “We at the Mary Black Foundation believe that parks and trails are an important part of a healthy and vibrant community. Ensuring access to trails and other safe and affordable places to be physically active has been a priority of ours for over 15 years. Much progress has been made to date and we are excited about the next phase of work that will connect the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail to additional trails throughout Spartanburg. The Foundation is proud to be able to financially support PAL and this effort, which will increase opportunities for more people in our community to access the health benefits of walking trails.”
Laura Ringo, executive director of Partners for Active Living, thanked the Mary Black Foundation for its continued support of trails and wellness in the Spartanburg community.
“The Dan is about cohesion and connection, both literally and figuratively, between many of Spartanburg’s incredible trails like the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail, the Drayton Trails, the Wadsworth Trails on the Westside, and SPACE’s beloved Cottonwood Trail,” Ringo said. “The Dan is also a unifier among these groups that are working to improve health, recreation, the environment, and quality of life in Spartanburg. This project is all of ours. One of the characteristics that makes Spartanburg so special is how well we work together. This is a great example of that.”
Cycle Bar and TD Bank sponsored Thursday’s announcement.
For more information on The Dan, including ways to donate, visit DanTrail.com.