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Oxford Opens First Phase Of Trail System


The Oxford community will cut the ribbon on a trail that has been in the works for the past several decades.

The trail section that opens on Wednesday is just over one mile long and is referred to as the "Black Bridge Connector" because it crosses the historic Black Covered Bridge that connects Kelly Drive to Leonard Howell Park on Bonham Road.

Executive Director of Enjoy Oxford, Jessica Greene, said the trail will eventually be nine miles long and will connect all of the main points of the Oxford Community.

"I think there's a very broad public support for this project," Greene said. "Residents have helped us raise the required matching dollars that we had for the grant. They've spoken to City Council, been on the organizing committee; so I think people are pretty excited to see this first section be opened."

The project began in the early 2000s when a group of citizens began to raise money to open a set of trails. The group attended city hall meetings to advocate for the project and in 2014 received a grant that would help fund the trails.

Work on the second phase of the nine-mile loop will begin in 2019. Organizers are using 2018 to lay out construction designs for the project.

The grand opening is on Wednesday, June 14 at 4:00 at Leonard Howell Park. Greene said there will be speakers from partners who made the project possible, a ribbon cutting, and then the public will be encouraged to explore the first section of the trail.