PORTERDALE -- The city of Porterdale recently received two grants for the Yellow River Park Project.
The city received an approximately $111,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trails Program to construct 2,600 feet of a 10-foot wide concrete trail; create a canoe/kayak/small boat launch; and for an entrance sign to the trailhead along with interpretive signs detailing the history of the Yellow River.
The grant is for $98,976, with a 20 percent match requirement. The city of Porterdale, the county, Newton County Trails/Path Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Porterdale, Yellow River Conservation and Preservation Club and Lafarge Aggregate are collaborating to provide a $12,500 cash match and in-kind donations totaling $26,800, which will bring the total amount of the grant and matching dollars to $138,276.
Also, "We just got the announcement last week that we were awarded a grant we were not expecting this year," said City Manager Bob Thomson, referring to a $190,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire additional property alongside the river for the park. That grant requires a 50 percent match from the city, to be paid from SPLOST funds, Thomson said.
The Porterdale Yellow River Park project is envisioned as a way to link recreation areas in Newton and Rockdale counties via trails and the Yellow River.
Porterdale owns 27 acres along the Yellow River that it plans to develop as a park that will include walking and biking trails, the Historic Train Depot trail head, a nature trail along the river, ballfields, picnic areas and a boat launch and landing area that will tie a planned blueway for canoeists, kayakers and rafters along the river to the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. Also included is the Turkey Creek/Yellow River trail that is planned by Newton County to connect the Yellow River Park to Turner Lake in Covington.
Last year, the project was awarded a Transportation Enhancements program grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation and last fall was selected by the U.S. National Park Service for a technical assistance grant during 2012. Work on the GDOT-funded project elements is scheduled to begin this summer, to include enhancements to the Depot and a paved trail from Broad Street to the Depot and on to the existing loop trail built by Newton Trails in 2006.
Editor Alice Queen contributed to this story.