It’s no secret that the Tennessee River is one of North Alabama’s most treasured natural resources. Among the many organizations working to protect and preserve that resource, you’ll find Tennessee RiverLine, a partnership between the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and TVA to create “North America’s next great regional trail system.”
The really great news? Huntsville residents will get an opportunity to make their voices heard during a Community Planning Initiative event next month. Ready to make your voice heard? Read on to learn more about Tennessee RiverLine and this summer’s CPI.
What is Tennessee RiverLine?
The main vision of Tennessee RiverLine is to create a continuous trail network that spans the entire Tennessee River, from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Paducah, Kentucky.
The project would result in 652 miles of trails that Tennessee Valley residents and visitors may bike, walk and boat, ultimately leading to collaboration among the cities along the path, economic development and Tennessee River conservation. The Tennessee RiverLine defines its goals like this:
- To “reestablish upriver and downriver relationships”
- To “reconnect people and communities in the Tennessee River Valley by initiating regional and watershed wide partnerships”
- “Reclaiming the river’s edge across urbanized, rural and natural landscapes to provide for an unprecedented level of public access”
These goals will take time, which is what led to the CPI that launches this summer. The CPI will take place in two phases:
- Phase I: 652 to YOU, a public engagement program in which community residents and leaders will participate in events and planning activities with the RiverLine team. Phase I should lead to recommendations for each community’s vision for the trail.
- Phase II: Placemaking project planning and design, which is expected to begin in 2023. In Phase II, RiverLine will begin designing and developing one project in each participating city.
How to attend 652 to YOU
The Huntsville 652 to YOU event will take place on Thursday, July 28 from 3-7PM. A location for the event has not yet been announced, but you can find updates and register on the event page.
Unable to attend? You can still make your voice heard by filling out the interactive River Gauge survey.
Other 652 to YOU events will take place in the following cities:
- Calvert City, Kentucky: June 9-10
- Clifton, Tennessee: June 23-25
- Decatur, Alabama: July 9-12
- Guntersville, Alabama: August 4-6
- Hardin County, Tennessee: August 18-20
What is your vision for Huntsville’s part of the Tennessee RiverLine trail system? Share your thoughts with us on social media, and don’t forget to tag @hvilleblast and use #hvilleblast.