Ringgold discussing Nature Trail plans, Depot landscaping upgrades
Ringgold City Council recently approved preliminary plans to upgrade both its existing nature trail and landscaping around the historic Ringgold Depot.
During a work session and subsequent council meeting on Monday night, March 13, Mayor Nick Millwood and the council looked over early drawings of the second phase of the Trail of Tears along the historic Nature Trail behind the city’s Recreational Park on Emberson Drive.
Over the past three years, the city has made adjustments to the Recreational Complex, added a canoe launch along Chickamauga Creek, and completed the first phase of the Trail of Tears.
Now, City Manager Dan Wright says the city could begin this latest upgrade later this year as it continues it progress with Atlantabased landscape and design firm KAIZEN Collaborative.
“These are the preliminary plans,” Wright said. “Greta deMayo (KAIZEN Collaborative founder and landscape architect) is trying to get the plans to the point where she can start with permitting and getting bid packets together so we can get some good bids in, and hopefully get construction started this year.”
The council unanimously approved the plans, which will add another element to the existing trail.
“I think the design is great,” said Millwood. “I like the way it looks with the parking and the new concrete all the way from our wooden bridge past the recent extension and around the water plant. I’m just very excited about it.”
The council also approved the Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (CVB) proposal to redo some of the landscaping at the city’s historic Depot.
“The current landscape at the Depot has been there for a number of years and a lot of the plants there have lived their life,” Wright said. “The CVB has been talking about what we need to do to keep it looking like it needs to.”
Wright said there’s a lot of settled topsoil that has now become a tripping hazard, and places where the landscaping has completely outgrown the area and looks really bad.
Members of the Design Studio with the Department of Community Affairs recently examined the facility and recommended changes.
“Graduate students and architects recommended removing some bushes and putting grass along some of the sidewalks,” Wright said. “They’re also looking at removing some bushes and things that currently block the Depot. We’re also looking at placing Dogwood trees as bookends to both sides of the Depot. We want to make it more picturesque so that when people come, it’ll really get their attention. We’ve put a lot of money into the facility, and we’re going to, hopefully sometime this year, be redoing the decking up there too as part of our overall improvements.”
Mayor Millwood also applauded the CVB’s recent and continuous efforts to keep the Depot area looking beautiful.