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Carolina Thread Trails include Lancaster County

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By The Staff

In November, more than 600 guests were invited to attend a kickoff luncheon at Charlotte Marriott City Center sponsored by Carolina Thread Trails. Two of those guests represented See Lancaster - board president Debbie Jaillette and welcome center hostess Sylvia Hudson. They and other guests were educated about the proposed trails while witnessing first hand $14.5 million in corporate commitments toward the fundraising campaign. Duke Energy, Wachovia, Bank of America and Foundation for the Carolinas were among the contributors.

Carolina Thread Trails organizers presented a proposal in which 15 counties, including Lancaster County, would create a regional network of connecting greenways and trails.

A greenway is a corridor of undeveloped land preserved for recreational use or environmental protection. It can have many benefits to a county, such as promoting tourism and conservation of nature and wildlife habitats while increasing awareness of and visitation to cultural and historical venues.

There is a proposed trail map on the Web site www.carolinathreadtrail.org. Trails for each community would be determined by the people living in the area. They would plan and work with neighbors to target points of connection within the trail. The "thread" shown on the site offers a vision for the project. It will change as these conceptual lines become reality.

The staff of See Lancaster is encouraging organizations and individuals to check out the resolution of support found on the Web site. If the concept falls within your mission and beliefs, we encourage you to sign it.

Lancaster County is unquestionably experiencing a strong pattern of growth. We must keep in mind that preservation of property and green spaces is essential to recreational uses. Carolina Thread Trails is a wonderful opportunity for the county to plan for the future in this effort to weave communities together.

There are many large-scale trail systems in the United States, but the one we can most relate to is the nearby Palmetto Trail. It crosses South Carolina from the mountains of Oconee State Park in the western part of the state to the Atlantic Ocean just north of Georgetown. Anne Springs Close, a lifelong hiker, was instrumental in planning and implementing that trail. The Anne Springs Close Greenway near Fort Mill will be a part of the new Carolina Thread Trails.

We can all become involved with this project with little effort. Go to www.carolinathreadtrail.org and find out more about it or come by our office at 201 W. Gay St. in the Springs House and pick up a brochure that has great information to explain further the trail project.

We may be contacted about trails or other tourism information at 286-1145 or by visiting www.seelancaster.org.

Nancy Howell, a volunteer for See Lancaster, writes a regular column on the organization.