Walker County Commission Makes First New Public Trail Commitment In Years

The Tennessee office of Trust For Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit organization that connects people to the benefits and joys of the outdoors, is working closely with the local government of Walker County, Georgia, to create new trails serving the families of North Georgia.

On December 22, 2022, the Walker County Commission, chaired by Shannon Whitfield, voted to allocate $50,000 toward a portion of the Battlefield Connector,” a 2 mile trail that will connect downtown Chickamauga to the Chickamauga National Military Park. This is the commission’s first such commitment to a new trail amenity in recent years. TPL worked closely with the County Commission and their staff to prepare the funding resolution and will be responsible for raising additional dollars to fully develop the trail.

“On behalf of everyone who calls Walker County home, we want to thank Chairman Whitfield and the entire Commission for their visionary investment in the community’s future,” says Noel Durant, Tennessee state director for TPL, whose service area includes North Georgia. “This amenity will give local families access to healthy and fun outdoor recreation for generations to come.”

The County Commission’s investment is drawn from its Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) dollars. Since 1985, TSPLOST has authorized a unique county tax of 1% on items subject to the state sales tax, the proceeds of which are available for specific transportation-related capital projects.

“These funds are specifically intended to benefit North Georgia’s families by easing traffic congestion and improving everyone’s quality of life,” says Durant. “The Battlefield Connector will do exactly that by creating safe, alternate routes for cyclists and pedestrians, which in turn creates safer, more efficient thoroughfares for vehicles. As North Georgia continues to grow, TSPLOST-funded projects like this will become more and more essential to the region’s health and safety. TPL looks forward to being Walker County’s partner in this progress.”

About Trust for Public Land

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.