ODNR Awards City of Solon $500,000 Grant for Bike/Hike Trail
Angee Shaker, M.Ed.
City of Solon
The City of Solon and its regional partners have taken a major step forward in making the “Solon to Chagrin Falls” multipurpose trail a reality thanks to a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. When completed, this trail would provide a direct, major hiking/biking/walking/ jogging connection between downtown Solon and downtown Chagrin Falls and also tie into the larger Cleveland Metroparks trail system.
“A major goal of this administration is to create a more walkable and connected city. This includes more opportunities to access multi-purpose paths for our residents and to draw more people to our commercial retail areas. This grant is another momentum builder for improving opportunities for social interaction and promoting a healthy lifestyle for families in Solon and Chagrin Falls,” stated Mayor Ed Kraus. The trail would consist of a ten feet wide, paved, fully ADA accessible pathway with a broad range of quality amenities including benches, rest areas, bike racks and pet stations.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) awarded the city $500,000 under the Clean Ohio Trails Fund grant program. This funding is on top of $300,000 that was designated for the project earlier this year under the State Ohio Capital Budget Program. This support from the state will assist with the initial phase of construction, which would be a 2-mile trail segment progress from downtown Solon at SOM Center Road to the Village of Bentleyville border.
“This is a great step in building trail connections that will help enhance the health and wellness of the community of Solon and beyond,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman. “We look forward to working with the City of Solon on continued development of the trail.”
The City of Chagrin Falls is another key partner on the project. “We congratulate Solon in getting the ODNR Grant. These funds will help support a safe multipurpose trail that will forever link our towns and provide our residents safe access to both the Cleveland Metro Parks and the Geauga Park Systems. This is a major plus for our two communities and builds on a long history of cooperation and working together for the benefit of our residents,” stated Chagrin Falls Mayor William Tomko.
While funding sources are essential, of equal importance is the help of committed regional partners. Solon has been especially fortunate in this area and would like to thank Cleveland Metroparks, Geauga County Park District, Cuyahoga Planning, Portage County Park District, Village of Chagrin Falls, Village of Bentleyville, City of Aurora, Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Bike Cleveland and many other partners in helping to move this project steadily forward.
“There is much work yet to be done. The City will be engaging with residents closest to the trail and citywide to continue to address concerns and questions and to collaboratively evaluate and implement solutions,” Mayor Kraus said. “But with the help of our partners and residents, the “Solon to Chagrin Falls Trail” is well on the way to becoming yet another jewel for our City and our region.”
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