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Dresden looks to prosper peacefully

Dresden looks to prosper peacefully
Dresden looks to prosper peacefully | City of Dresden

Dresden Mayor Danny Forrester, Dresden Parks and Recreation Director David Beaty, Iris Festival Executive Committee member Angie Hewitt, and Alderman Jake Bynum

Within a span of 17 acres that winds throughout the City of Dresden, a vision has been created to utilize the historic property as a site of refuge away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
With that vision in place, city leaders are now anxious to get the project moving to create a place of peace for visitors and Dresden citizens.
“This is going to be great for the city. It’s a draw for tourism. It will bring people in. We just can’t let the moss settle on this,” Dresden Mayor Danny Forrester said during a meeting held Friday by city leaders and the engineer company charged with seeing the project to fruition.
The vision is one that models recreational trails and incorporates hubs of activity centered around the greenway. During the planning meeting Friday, engineer and landscape architects Andrew Reynolds and Jay Easter compiled a packet filled with scenic trails and landmarks incorporated into municipalities’ greenways throughout the nation.
The meeting of the minds quickly developed into a list of wants and needs from Dresden city officials.
Those ideas included the development of an amphitheater, restrooms along the bicycle/jogging trail, landscaping, picnic areas with fire rings and grills and level spots for camping.
Alderman Gwin Anderson said his ideas included a fountain park as well as a peaceful spot that would allow families to “reserve” areas near a pavilion that would allow seclusion.
The group of Dresden officials did emphasize their three priorities. They were an area for a farmer’s market, a walking trail and an amphitheater.
The trail would run alongside the railroad tracks and incorporate the historic depot area which has been there as long as Dresden has been in existence.
Officials also felt it necessary to include irises, which is the official flower of the city, along the greenway.
There was even mention of eventually having the trail veer into the historic Sunset Cemetery as a resting point for history enthusiasts.
Easter suggested modeling the greenway after arboretums and marking the various types of trees and plantings along the way.
Apparently, the sky is the limit with the greenway project, which is still in the infancy stage.
Once the master plan is drawn and filled with the ideas expressed during Friday’s meeting, Easter and Reynolds will take the next step and incorporate the plans into aerial photos of the greenway stretch.
From there, the City of Dresden would have an opportunity to apply for a recreational trails grant, which pays 80 percent with a 20 percent match from the city coffers. The maximum grant amount awarded at one time is $100,000.
With the engineers heading back to the literal “drawing” board, city officials must now wait for the development of the overall picture. That process, according to Easter and Reynolds may take a few weeks.

WCP 8.02.11

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