The City of Whitesburg, located in Letcher County, is part of the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone, a designation by President Obama that identifies high poverty communities in need of federal, state, and local agency support. The city has been working to address the needs of its citizens and as part of that effort, is working on a Downtown Trail Greenspace Project that “can serve as a focal point for a ‘healthy narrative’ for the county.”* The project intends to “benefit the community’s health by providing more access to physical activity through walking and/or cycling”* and to heighten the impact of its Farmers’ Market. “The Downtown Trail Greenspace Project integrates several citizen driven efforts: securing a permanent structure for the Farmers’ Market, the arts and culture activity at the core of the City’s revitalization, Trail Town certification, and the completion of the Tanglewood Downhill, a non-motorized trail connecting the Pine Mountain Scenic Trail to downtown Whitesburg.”
The City of Whitesburg requested the Community Design Assistance Center’s help in creating a conceptual master plan that would complete its greenway, Tanglewood Downhill, by extending the existing trail that runs along the Kentucky River from West Whitesburg to the Pine Mountain Scenic Trail (part of the Great Eastern Trail) with several destinations along the way. The trail, which would be approximately five miles in length, would not only offer exercise opportunities for both citizens and tourists, but would also provide opportunities for displaying public art and educating visitors about the history and ecology of the area and would enable pedestrians to safely access key destinations within the community. CDAC worked with the City of Whitesburg to develop a conceptual master plan for the extension of Tanglewood Downhill.
Project team: Melissa Philen, Shane Gray, and Joe Niland
* Taken from project application dated March 2015.