Trails Symposium: Friends of Katy Trail Dallas

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Bikers to the left, walkers and runners to the right

Bikers to the left, walkers and runners to the right

One of the speakers I was pleased to hear on Sunday during Day 1 of the National Trails Symposium was Eric Van Steenberg, Friends of the Katy Trail in Dallas.  Since 1997, this non-profit has raised over $21 M to build a 3.5 mile, dual trail (one path for runners, one path for bikers, rollerbladers, etc.) along a section of central Dallas from the American Airlines arena to just south of SMU.  They have a unique working relationship with the parks dept and have raised much of the money through family foundations in Dallas (private foundations, vs. 501c3 public non-profits like the Austin Parks Foundation.)  Amazing.

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Plaza area connection to another park

Plaza area connection to another park

I’ve ridden the trail a few times when visiting family in Dallas and have found the improvements amazing – plazas, ramps and landscaping connecting the 30 acres of the trail corridor (formerly a railroad right of way) to another 95 acres of parks along the way.  I’ve attached a few pictures taken on my last ride during the Thanksgiving weekend in 2007.

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