OXFORD — The Oxford Area Trails committee and the City of Oxford will host the grand opening of the Oxford Area Trail System’s phase one: The Black Bridge Connector. Committee members and their partners are welcoming the community to help celebrate this event on Wednesday, June 14, at Leonard Howell Park, 5094 Bonham Rd., Oxford.
This first section of the trail is just over one mile and will cross over the historic Black Covered Bridge, connecting Kelly Dr. to Leonard Howell Park on Bonham Rd. This portion of the trail was funded by a Clean Ohio grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Matching funds were provided by Miami University, MetroParks of Butler County, Oxford Masonic Lodge, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital | TriHealth, and individual donors to the Oxford Area Trails fund at the Oxford Community Foundation.
The development of this multi modal trail network has been led by strong grassroots efforts in the Oxford community since the 1990’s. An organized group of citizens planned the route and raised funds for the trail. In 2007, the group paid for conceptual designs and construction estimates, which were then given to the City of Oxford and incorporated into the City Comprehensive Plan shortly thereafter. During the recession of 2008, the plans were put on hold and in 2013 planning and fundraising began in earnest again.
In 2014, a Clean Ohio grant was awarded to the City, allowing for planning and construction to begin. Since then, work on the trail system has continued and the conceptual design and construction estimates have been updated. Another grant was awarded from OKI Regional Council of Governments for phase two: The Miami Connector. Those funds will be released in 2019.
Contact Oxford’s City Planner Sam Perry or the Oxford Area Trails Committee President Marty Creech for more information about the trail.