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Gainesville Trail Connection Purchased

Acquisition of 6th Street Corridor Will Provide Downtown Connection

Gainesville, Florida – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Office of Greenways and Trails and The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization, announced yesterday the preservation of a 2.3-mile rail corridor that will bring a popular bicycle/pedestrian trail into downtown Gainesville.

The corridor along 6th Street will connect the downtown area with employment centers, neighborhoods and the University of Florida. It passes right by the Gainesville Police Department and has long been a priority acquisition for both the City of Gainesville and the DEP Office of Greenways and Trails because of its tremendous potential for development as a recreational trail, as well as its connectivity to existing trails.

“Building a beautiful multi-purpose trail with places to stop along the way will really help this area of the City reinvent itself by connecting new apartment complexes and colleges, as well as other trails such as the Hawthorne, Waldo and Depot trails,” said Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan. “Preserving this corridor would never have been possible without the help of The Trust for Public Land.” The trail’s preservation was a multi-year effort by a number of partners. The entire corridor was owned by CSX Transportation, Inc. (CSX). The Trust for Public Land (TPL) began working with CSX to protect the corridor in 2004, and completed its acquisition late Wednesday. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of State Lands, on behalf of the DEP Office of Greenways and Trails, then purchased the property from TPL. The City of Gainesville will be the long-term manager of the property.

“It’s exciting to see a project that we have worked on for such a long time come to a successful conclusion,” said Cynthia Radford, Land Acquisition Administrator for DEP’s Office of Greenways and Trails. “Along with our dedicated partners in this process, we share the City of Gainesville’s enthusiasm for a trail which has significant opportunities for recreation and alternative transportation.” “The incredible public benefit this corridor will provide to the community makes dealing with the numerous multi-year hurdles all worth it,” said TPL project manager Doug Hattaway. “This project could not have been completed
without the perseverance of all the parties involved.”

The Gainesville effort is the latest in a series of rail-corridor projects that TPL has completed around the state. Other recent rail-trail projects by TPL include an extension of the Pinellas Trail in St. Petersburg, the Legacy Trail in Sarasota County, and the Leesburg Recreational Trail in the City of Leesburg.

For more information on the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization, please call 850-222-7911 or go to www.tpl.org. For more information on the City of Gainesville, please call 352-334-5000 or go to www.cityofgainesville.org

Source:
CITY OF GAINESVILLE Communications and Marketing Office
RELEASE DATE: March 28, 2008
CONTACT: Bob Woods, Communications and Marketing Manager
Email: gainesvillepio@cityofgainesville.org
Telephone: 352-334-5017


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