Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Springfield gets state grant for Greenway web site, app

The City of Springfield has won an $8,200 state tourism grant to create a website and tour app for the Ebenezer Creek Greenway.

The website will include information about the historic and ecological significance of the Greenway project, a 15-mile multi-use trail that will extend from Springfield, along Ebenezer Creek, to Ebenezer at the Savannah River.

Erin Phillips, the city’s community development director, said Springfield will provide a 50-percent match.

She said the app will offer people traveling along the creek a self-guided tour. The website and app should be finished by the end of this year.

The grant, from the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s tourism division, was part of $85,000 in product development agreements awarded to 13 new and expanding tourism projects across the state. 

About a year ago, Springfield had a consultant prepare plans for a park and pond on Ebenezer Creek and two canoe/kayak launches as part of the Greenway project.

The plan by Thomas Hutton calls for turning the former sewage treatment pond at Stillwell Road and Ash Street into a useable pond, surrounded by a park and small boat launch. 
The cost of the project was estimated to be about $2 million.

City Manager Brett Bennett said due to the high cost, the park would have to be funded in phases, as grant funds become available.

“The timing will be dependent on funding,” Bennett said.

Other projects

The Greenway and its website and app are just one of many projects in the works in Springfield.

Phillips said the Springfield Revitalization Corp. (SRC), city council and newly created Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are discussing how they can work together.

The SRC, which is a non-profit and can accept donations, worked with the city in renovating and reopening the Mars Theatre.

The city council created the DDA so it could have a say in what happens to real estate such as the Walt’s Furniture building it owns on Laurel Street.

One of the projects the SRC is considering is landscaping around the huge oak trees along Cleveland Street, just off Laurel Street and in front of the Springfield United Methodist Church.

The group would use $2,000 raised by its annual bike ride, as well as donations, discounts and help from volunteers.

Ideas are in the early stages, but an arborist will be consulted to assess the health of the trees, which city council member Charles Hinely helped plant as a Boy Scout decades ago.

If the trees are healthy and expected to have a long life, the SRC is considering landscaping around them so that the roots will be protected from vehicles and pedestrians. Walkways would be created for people, along with such things as benches and possibly a water fountain for people and dogs.

The group may set up a booth at the city’s fall festival where people could create paving stones that would be used in the walkways.

The SRC also is considering being a part of three 5K races that will be held in September, October and November, along with a permanent course that would be marked with signs.

The SRC will host one of the runs and the others are being hosted by Catie’s Fund and the Effingham 4-H Extension Office.

Also in the works are upgrades to Ulmer Park and the possibility of façade grants for downtown businesses, which could be used for such things as paint, awnings, signs, planters and benches.

Article source: http://savannahnow.com/effingham-now-news/2016-08-09/springfield-gets-state-grant-greenway-web-site-app