According to Friends Of Katy Trail Board Of Directors President Charlie Shufeldt,
Thank you for the opportunity to tell you why we believe our Katy Trail capital campaign is essential to the well-being of Dallas, now and in the future.
For over 20 years, since the time the discarded Katy railroad line became a linear park, the Katy Trail has been an essential green space and recreation resource in Dallas. The Trail spurred incredibly dynamic business growth and fostered an essential sense of community by connecting people and vibrant neighborhoods and parks.
Several years ago, Friends of the Katy Trail determined that we had to make safety enhancements and other improvements to match growing demand on the Trail. These projects include completing the original vision of two fully separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists running the entire length of the Trail, as well as new entry points, widened bridges, and further landscaping. However, we never could have seen that these improvements would become even more critical in the coronavirus era.
Usage this year is up 20% along the Trail. Since March, Dallasites have flooded the Trail, seeking connection to others and mental and physical respite. The campaign projects address the needs of the pandemic, because they will provide more access, capacity, and space, including more room for social distancing.
You may have seen that the first campaign construction projects have already started on the Trail. The existing soft-surface path is being resurfaced, and the new stretch of soft-surface is under construction.
We now have less than $1 million to raise of an $8 million campaign cost so we are well on our way. However, we cannot greenlight all the essential campaign projects unless we reach our campaign goal.
This investment in the Katy Trail is an investment in the future of Dallas. It will keep one of our community’s most cherished assets safe, accessible, and enjoyable for many years to come.
Gifts of any size are appreciated—we have received gifts from $100 to $2,500,000–and naming opportunities are available. All donors will be recognized online and in print, and all who contribute $10,000 or more will be permanently recognized on the Trail.
These are challenging times for all of us, so we are truly grateful for your consideration and support. You may give online at katytraildallas.org/completethetrail or feel free to contact me at [email protected] or Ann Whitley Wood, Major Gifts Director, at [email protected].
* Graphic and photo provided by Friends Of Katy Trail