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Class, volunteers plant trees along Southmost Hike and Bike Trail

BROWNSVILLE, Texas - Leadership Brownsville Class XXXI and 50 volunteers met at the West entrance of the Southmost Hike and Bike Trail to plant 28 trees along its path.

Parking their vehicles near Carling Technologies, the group began working on its “Trees for the Trails” class project at 8 a.m. After hearing that trees wouldn’t be planted along the path due to inadequate funding, the Leadership Brownsville XXXI class made it its mission to make sure the trail would have trees and vegetation. Being that hike and bike trails were one of the city’s most recent and successful projects, the class felt the trees were needed to beautify the area.

The Southmost Nature Trail is part of the city’s 2013 Bicycle and Trail Master Plan. Once this trail and others are completed, they will connect all parts of the city. The trails will not only encourage tourism and promote activities like birding, but they will also encourage active, healthy and environmentally forms of transportation.

Comprising of four different phases, the first phase of the Southmost Nature Trail will be completed sometime by mid-May. It will connect the area of International Boulevard to Southmost Boulevard. The 1.7 mile trail will stretch north of PorterHigh School to west of Del Castillo Elementary School. According to Roxanna Rosas, city spokeswoman, the city hopes it will be utilized by students.

The first phase of the trail was funded by a Capital Project grant from the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation and City Development Block Grant. Although its original plan included trees and vegetation, that plan was put on hold due to lack of funding.

“The total of the initial project came in over budget so the landscape items came down so that we would be able to start the project,” said David Licon, project engineer at the City of Brownsville. “We were expecting additional funding to come in later down the road.”

As a result, the city decided to focus more on the trail’s infrastructure with the mentality that some of the landscaping elements could be added later.

“We’re really grateful that we have groups like Leadership Brownsville willing to do this for us,” Licon said. “It’s really helped our cause, and it shows us how a community can work together to get major projects like these completed.”

Source: The Brownsville Herald
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