The Brian Brown Greenway Foundation
March, 25, 2004
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After three years of fundraising and awareness activities, the work of the Brian Brown Greenway Foundation, the Martin Economic Development Corporation, the City of Martin and UT Martin paid off when Governor Phil Bredesen announced that the City of Martin's request for a transportation grant through the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) was funded. The greenway foundation spearheaded this request effort and has been active in soliciting contributions towards the (approximate) $60,000 matching fund for the grant. (Jackson Sun article)
Details for the beginning of the first phase are being worked out between the City of Martin, The University of Tennesssee at Martin, and TLM of Jackson, the engineering firm responsible for the actual construction of the greenway, Those who have seen the signs indicating the "future site of the Brian Brown Memorial Greewnay" can take comfort in the thought that the construction of the first phase will soon be a reality.
The Martin Greenway was first envisioned by Brian Brown, the late director of UTM's Campus Recreation Program, who saw the need for a multi-purpose trail in and around the City of Martin and the UTM campus. The map to the left is a rough copy of the one left on Brian's desk when he was fatally injured when he was struck by a truck while riding his bicycle along the shoulder of the highway 45 bypass.
The map indicates six different sections, probably being completed in different phases. The first stage coincides with the building of trails on the land owned by UTM behind the Chancellor's Residence. Starting at the corner of the 45 bypass and University Avenue, the proposed trail will form a countinuous path partially along an old railroad right of way across UTM property to downtown Martin. Side trails designed for multi-purpose use (horses, bicyclists, and pedestrians) will link with this main corridor. Dr. Richard Helgeson's students stabilized the old railroad bridge, and UTM engineering students surveyed the route. On an outing August 24, 2002 the Brian Brown Greenway Citizens Advisory Committee scouted out possible locations of the main corridor along with Dr. Helgeson and one of his senior students, Chris Goodman, a senior in engineering, who performed preliminary engineering work.
Raising Funds for the Matching Grant -- a Community Effort
The non-profit Brian Brown Greenway Foundation, Inc. has been involved in several fundraisers to raise matching funds for the TDOT grant. In March 2002 and April 2003, the Martin Rotary Club used its "Spring Fling" to support the greenway. Moreover, in May 2002, the BBGF sponsored a Mike Snider concert with proceeds going to the greenway. In September, the Brian Brown Greenway Foundation sponsored the Carson Barnes Circus -- a tremendous success financially and an outstanding community event. This was followed by a "Cookies with Santa" event at the Virginia Weldon Library in early December.
Other groups involved in supporting the greenway financially were the Brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha, who donated proceeds from the 2004 Pike Fights to the Greenway. This remains the single largest donation ($7,000) to the Greenway, closely followed by that of the UTM Spirit Camps ($5000). These donations along with those of a number of student groups from UTM, public service clubs, area businesses and individuals have brought the foundation close to its original fundraising goal for phase1 of the greenway -- primarily the construction of the paved path. But this is just a small part of the eventual project! Landscaping, benches, picnic tables and information kiosks are not part of the original budget, but will be necessary to make the greenway something the entire community can be proud of.
Your help is is still needed. To make a donation to the Brian Brown Greenway Foundation, contact Tim Johnston (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jim Clark (email@example.com). You may also send your check to: Brian Brown Greenway Foundation, POB 701, Martin, TN 38237. The BBGF is a 501(c)3 organization. Contributions are tax-deductible.