Trailfest fundraiser comes to Cherokee this weekend
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
March 22, 2013 12:00 AM | 1713 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Woodstock’s Greenprints Alliance is working to connect the community through the nonprofit’s annual Trailfest fundraiser this weekend.

Thousands will head to the city’s downtown center Saturday for the annual festival to benefit the city’s Greenprints Trail System, which will eventually span 60 miles throughout Woodstock.

The free, family-friendly event will be at the Park at City Center, 103 Arnold Mill Road, from 2 to 10 p.m. Donations to the non-profit are encouraged and will be taken both at the event and online.

“Beyond the great music, food and beer, it really is about connecting with our community,” said Jennifer Stockton, executive director of Greenprints.

David Potts, chairman of the Greenprints Alliance Board of Directors, said the overall trail system plan includes approximately 40 miles of paved trails and 20 miles of mountain biking trails. Coinciding with the event is the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association’s annual summit, which will bring SORBA members from throughout the Southeast to the city.

“This (event) helps us bring awareness to the community to show them what the trails are all about, from the health benefits to the connectivity between peoples’ homes and businesses,” Potts said.

Potts said Greenprints recently broke ground on a trail that runs from Noonday Creek to Highway 92 and with funds raised this weekend, the group also plans to work on several other projects in cooperation with SORBA Woodstock including additional parking at Blankets Creek and an additional six-mile loop for the Taylor Randahl trails.

One of the side projects is a proposed walking track at Woodstock Elementary School, a task Potts has worked closely with Principal Christy Bowling on for several months.

“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do,” Potts said. “We’re all about changing the culture to get people to move toward being outdoors more.”

Stockton said the track isn’t part of the proposed trail plan, but another venue to further the Greenprints message of an active lifestyle.

“We’re lucky to have a great partner in Dr. Bowling down at the school and she’s really passionate about putting track at the school,” Stockton said. “We’re hoping to help her raise money to see the vision complete.”

The weather outlook for the event does not look promising, but with last year’s event hitting record numbers of over 5,000 attendees, Stockton remains optimistic.

“As event gets more awareness, seems to bring more and more people to it,” Stockton said. “We’re hoping we continue to see an increase in participation for the event.”

Stockton said Greenprints will have a tent at the entrance to the park with maps of trail projects and the Greenprints Master Plan trail map for the city, as well as be available to answer any questions.

“We’ll be there to remind people about Taylor Randahl (Memorial Bike Trails) and the trails at Olde Rope Mill Park,” she said. “That’s a project we can point to as a well-used, well-connected component of the trail system.”

Also at the event, Stockton said Greenprints will be on the lookout for people interested in helping grow the volunteer-based organization.

“We’re looking for people that want to get involved who believe in trail system as much as we do and want to lend their time and talent,” she said.

Stockton said the long-term goal of the trail system is to make it so many Woodstock residents won’t have to hop in their car to drive to the trails, but live close enough to ride or walk to get to one of the trail entrances.

“It’s kind of cool because downtown will be a hub of trails to take you in all different directions for over 60 miles,” Stockton said. “It will take us a long time, but I guess we’ll take it one mile at a time.”

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