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On September 30, we celebrated the start of construction on the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, the first new project needed to complete The LOOP. I want to thank those who were able to make it out to celebrate with us including CTC board members, donors and long-time supporters. A special thanks to those who spoke about the importance of the trail including Mayor Eric Johnson, Commissioner Theresa Daniel, Jeff Ellerman, and Calvert Collins-Bratton.

As Mayor Johnson said in his remarks: “The pandemic demonstrated the need for an even more vibrant trail system in Dallas. During those early days of COVID-19 lockdowns, the people of Dallas — in running shoes, on bikes, and pushing strollers — sought refuge on the city’s trails. What is also clearer now is that The Loop isn’t some vanity project or simply an economic development play. Trails are more to this city than a nice-to-have neighborhood perk. A strong and viable trail system is critical infrastructure for a 21st century city. As the people of Dallas learned over the past 18 months, trails are essential.”

We appreciate those words from the Mayor and share his belief that The LOOP will help transform Dallas in the years to come.

We also want to recognize the support and funding from Dallas County Commissioner Theresa Daniel that is making the Trinity Forest Spine Trail a reality. In 2014, Commissioner Daniel recognized the importance of this project and how it could transform the neighborhoods around it. She led the effort to allocate over $5M to the project, paving the way for the Circuit Trail Conservancy and the City of Dallas to come to the table and meet the terms of the funding – the best example of a public-private partnership.

Thank you, Commissioner Daniel, for your catalytic support as the first public partner of The LOOP.

We also want to thank Councilmember Paula Blackmon who has been a great partner and supporter of this project. She had kind words to say at the groundbreaking that we want to share with you in this video clip.

The groundbreaking was featured on Dallas news outlets including KRLD, NBC 5 and CBS. You can also read more about the significance of this moment in D Magazine and the Advocate.

Construction will continue on the north phase of the Spine Trail for the next 12 to 18 months. We’ll continue to keep you updated on the progress.

In other exciting news, I was recently a guest on The Deep Side of Dallas podcast, hosted by Rudy Bush of The Dallas Morning News and Paul Corliss, the Chief Communications Officer for the University of North Texas System. We discussed how The LOOP will help make Dallas a national leader in having a connected trail system. You can click on this link to listen to the episode.

It was also announced last week that the Circuit Trail Conservancy is one of 15 new tenants at Water Cooler at Pegasus Park. Founded by philanthropist Lyda Hill, Water Cooler at Pegasus Park is a mixed-use office campus that bolsters social impact, corporate innovation and local biotech. This nonprofit, philanthropic and social-impact community is the largest shared nonprofit space in the state of Texas. We applied to be one of the nonprofits included in this space last summer and are thrilled to have been selected to work alongside some of Dallas’ leading nonprofit organizations. We’ll be moving into this space to continue our work in early 2022.

We look forward to sharing more exciting news with you soon. Until then, I hope you are able to enjoy the trails as the fall weather settles in.