50K Grant for Capital Cascade Greenway

TALLAHASSEE: SunTrust Bank has announced a $50,000 challenge grant to the Trust for Public Land’s Capital Cascade Greenway Initiative. “This is a significant grant to a worthy project,” said David Ramsay, chairman and chief executive officer for the bank’s northwest Florida market, “and we want to challenge supporters of this project to match the gift.”

“The Capital Cascade Greenway has the potential to become a Tallahassee landmark, thanks in large part to the involvement of the Trust for Public Land,” said Ramsay. “The decision by TPL to lend their extraordinary experience and national reputation ensure this project will live up to its potential, and we are proud to support their work.”

The greenway is part of the Blueprint 2000 initiative, for which county voters approved the extension of a one-cent sales tax beginning in 2004. Over time the sales tax will provide significant public funds for land acquisition and capital improvements. TPL began working with local officials and business leaders on the project last year, assembling an experienced team of professionals and hiring a consultant to produce a conceptual plan for the 6-mile-long corridor.

“This project started as a part of a citizen initiative – Blueprint 2000 – and we need to make sure that citizen involvement continues as a core aspect of the project,” stated Ramsay. “TPL is helping us do that.”

While the greenway project emerged from Blueprint 2000, it has expanded into a broad conservation program that includes parks, trails and historic sites, as well as a host of other community concerns.

“The Capital Cascade Greenway project is one of our most challenging greenway projects in the Southeast,” said Dale Allen, director of the Trust for Public Land’s southeastern region. “With a comprehensive effort, we are convinced that Tallahassee can transform a neglected and degraded stream corridor into a series of parks, ponds and trails that will become one of the region’s premier urban greenway systems, while at the same time storing and cleaning up urban stormwater almost invisibly.”

“By expanding the trail project to include a greenway, the community is addressing other needs identified in Blueprint 2000, including stormwater control along Franklin Boulevard, open space planning in Cascades Park, economic revitalization along Gaines Street, and recreation planning in the parks and as the greenway connects with the St. Marks Trail and other bicycle and pedestrian trails,” Allen said. “It’s a significant effort.”

The greenway would begin in the Lafayette Park and Old Town neighborhoods north of Leon High School and run south along Franklin Boulevard past the Department of Transportation and the Korean War Memorial and through long-neglected Cascades Park. Then it turns west and skirts the north side of the Florida A& M campus before turning south again on Lake Bradford Road. Paralleling Spring Creek Road, the creek and greenway will both end at Lake Munson in southern Leon County.

With strong support from the business community, residents, and public, the Capital Cascade project will add momentum to help revitalize underserved neighborhoods by expanding economic and recreational opportunities for community residents. The greenway will be implemented in phases over a period of about eight years.

“Community support for TPL’s work is essential,” said David Ramsay. “We hope this grant will encourage others to support their work.”

Contributions are tax-deductible and can be sent to the Trust for Public Land, 306 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32301. For more information about making a gift, contact Sara Brunger at (850) 222-7911.

Based in Jacksonville, SunTrust Bank, North Florida has over 59 full service offices located throughout Duval, Clay, Nassau, St. Johns, Marion, Alachua, Leon, Gadsden, Jackson, Bay, Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties. John R. Schmitt is chairman, president and chief executive officer for the entire region. SunTrust’s Florida network has 386 offices from Pensacola to Miami.

As of June 30, 2003, SunTrust Banks, Inc., one of the nation’s largest commercial banking organizations, had total assets of $120.9 billion and total deposits of $77.3 billion. The company operates through an extensive distribution network primarily in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia and serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its primary businesses include deposit, credit, trust and investment services. Through various subsidiaries, the company provides credit cards, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage and capital markets services. SunTrust’s Internet address is http://www.suntrust.com/.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.6 million acres of land in 45 states. In Florida, TPL has protected more than 270 sites – almost 200,000 acres at a market value of about $500 million. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information please contact us at (415) 495-4014 or visit us on the web at www.tpl.org