project leader
Firefly Trail, Inc .
location
Athens, Maxeys and Union Point
(Georgia)
latest update rss
Success!

the project

Thanks to the generosity of more than 300 donors, Firefly Trail Inc., exceeded its Model Miles Project fundraising goal, receiving nearly $62,300 in donations to augment trail segments to be built in Maxeys, Union Point and Athens-Clarke County.

“Our Board is amazed, humbled, proud and grateful,” said Ivette Bledsoe, fundraising committee chair. “We knew there was a huge amount of support for the trail, but to exceed our extremely ambitious goal shows how much people want a safe, level place for exercise and active transportation in our communities.”

The funds will be used to help the three cities extend, enhance and promote their soon-to-be-built sections of the trail. When completed, the Firefly Trail will extend about 39 miles from downtown Athens to downtown Union Point, following the historic route of the Georgia Railroad Athens Branch through a number of charming Georgia towns, including Winterville, Crawford and Woodville in addition to Union Point, Maxeys and Athens.

Read more here. 


The Firefly Trail will be a 39-mile multi-purpose trail in Northeast Georgia, following the abandoned corridor of the Georgia Railroad Athens Branch. From the university city of Athens to the friendly towns of Maxeys and Union Point, the trail will promote safety, better health, economic development, transportation options, tourism, historic preservation -- and fun.

Linking urban, suburban and rural landscapes, the trail will be a linear park that enhances the environment and highlights our region's rich history and culture.

Firefly Trail, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) Georgia charity incorporated to spearhead the creation of the trail. We are working closely with three municipalities -- Maxeys, Union Point and Athens -- to create model miles in each city. All three cities are committed to raising substantial funding to make paving the first segments of the trail a reality. However, additional funds are needed for these projects, especially in the small towns of Maxeys and Union Point.

In partnership with our communities, the Firefly Trail Model Miles Project will spur the creation of the full trail by demonstrating its transformational potential to the entire region. Your help is needed and deeply appreciated!

the steps

Firefly Trail Inc., has had the wonderful opportunity to watch and assist as these three municipalities work hard to raise the necessary funds to start building the trail in their towns. Your donations to our Model Miles Campaign will expand and enhance these efforts. Firefly Trail Inc., will devote 100% of the proceeds as follows–

1. $25,000 to the town of Maxeys for purchasing paving materials, with the goal of building 1.5 miles of paved trail with unpaved side track inside the city limits. Maxeys has secured $316,000 in city funds, grants, and in-kind donations to fund this project. Paving the Maxeys Model Mile is expected to begin in June of 2017 and be completed by fall 2017.

2. $30,000 to the city of Union Point to augment funding for paving materials and construction costs, with a goal of creating a safe route from downtown to Union Point STEAM Academy, a K-8 public school which presently can be accessed only via a high-speed highway. Union Point has secured $150,000 in local funds and grants. Construction is expected to begin on the Union Point Model Mile in summer 2018.

3. Up to $5,000 to assist the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County in promoting their first mile of the Firefly Trail, currently under construction and scheduled for completion in fall 2017. This segment is entirely funded by local sales tax revenues and federal grants. Our funds will assist the unified government in raising awareness of the new trail segment and building public support to complete the remaining 7 miles of trail in Athens-Clarke County.

4.  In the event this campaign raises more than $60,000, any funds in excess of the goal will be used to provide additional assistance to Maxeys and Union Point for trail-related purposes.

 

why we're doing it

Safety: Many of the towns and all of the rural areas the trail will serve have few, if any, sidewalks, bike facilities or other infrastructure for off-road exercise and active transportation. For example, to walk to their elementary school just north of Union Point, students must use the unimproved shoulder of a busy 2-lane highway. In Athens, three people have tragically lost their lives since 2014 while bicycling on roads close to the route of the Firefly Trail.

Health: Thousands of people living near the trail corridor are unable to play and exercise safety in their own communities. As a result, most don't. Rates of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes are among the highest in the nation. Studies show every $1 spent on trails yields $2.94 in direct health benefits.  Using the trail will not only be safer, it will be fun -- inspiring more people to get up and get moving. The Firefly Trail will bring opportunities and hope for longer, healthier, happier lives.

Economic development: Many of the neighborhoods and communities served by the Firefly Trail are struggling economically. Trails create opportunities for new and existing businesses; attract new residents, entrepreneurs and tourists; boost property values, and improve quality of life. A Firefly Trail economic impact study estimates the finished trail will attract more than 1.1 million users a year and generate $14.7 million in annual economic impact. Just building the trail will generate/sustain 158 jobs.

Attractive corridor: The corridor connects charming towns, beautiful countryside, schools, businesses, historic features and town centers. Importantly, as an abandoned railroad corridor, it provides a level route through the hills and valleys of Northeast Georgia, allowing people of all ages and abilities to enjoy using it.

budget

Disbursed Budget (6.5.17):



RAISED = $62,195.00
 less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)* $1,781.36
TOTAL TO DISBURSE = $60,378.64

* This donation processing fee was calculated on $61,195 (a partial fee exemption made).

Original Budget:

  • $25,000 to match existing city, state and grant funding for the Maxeys Model Mile
  • $30,000 to match city funds (committed) and a state/federal grant (application pending) for the Union Point Model Mile
  • $5,000 to assist the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County with raising awareness of the Athens Model Mile


Firefly Trail Model Miles subtotal = $60,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $1,800
Total to raise on ioby= $61,835

 

updates

Success!

Firefly Trail exceeds Model Miles project fundraising goal; announces 'thank you' celebration.

MAXEYS, Ga. – June 6, 2017 –

Thanks to the generosity of more than 300 donors, Firefly Trail Inc., exceeded its Model Miles Project fundraising goal, receiving nearly $62,300 in donations to augment trail segments to be built in Maxeys, Union Point and Athens-Clarke County.

To celebrate, Firefly Trail Inc., will hold a "thank-you" party for donors, friends and the general public on Thursday, June 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Terrapin Beer Co., 265 Newton Bridge Road, Athens. Everyone is welcome.

“Our Board is amazed, humbled, proud and grateful,” said Ivette Bledsoe, fundraising committee chair. “We knew there was a huge amount of support for the trail, but to exceed our extremely ambitious goal shows how much people want a safe, level place for exercise and active transportation in our communities.”

The funds will be used to help the three cities extend, enhance and promote their soon-to-be-built sections of the trail. When completed, the Firefly Trail will extend about 39 miles from downtown Athens to downtown Union Point, following the historic route of the Georgia Railroad Athens Branch through a number of charming Georgia towns, including Winterville, Crawford and Woodville in addition to Union Point, Maxeys and Athens.

By using the abandoned railroad corridor wherever possible, the trail will provide an off-road path through Northeast Georgia's hills and valleys. Wide and level, it will be suitable for walkers, runners and cyclists of all ages and abilities. Trails provide a safe place where people can exercise for better health and engage in active transportation separated from busy roads. Rail-trails in hundreds of other communities across the U.S. have also become engines for economic development, attracting tourism and creating opportunities for business growth, historic preservation and environmental protection.

Read more here.

We met our goal and there's still time to give.

We're so thrilled to have met our goal a few days before our deadline!  Thank you to everyone that already made their donations - we couldn't have done this without you.  

Feeling left out? There's still time to give, our deadline is June 3rd, and we'll put every dollar raised to good use for our Model Miles project. 

Thank you again! We're so excited about the overwhelming support and response from our communities.

We won all $15,000 in matching funds from The Riverview Foundation...

Thank you to all 106 residents, businesses and community groups that made donations during our $15,000 matching grant challenge, sponsored by The Riverview Foundation.  Your generous and timely donations, ranging from $1 to $2,000, directly resulted in an extra $15,000 for our Firefly Trail Model Miles in Athens, Maxeys and Union Point!

This is a big win & we think you're awesome!


Now, we're so close to reaching our project's goal! Helping us get there is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Call or talk to 5-10 of your closest friends, family & co-workers about this project. Ask them to give a few bucks by June 3rd. Every donation counts! 

2. Tweet or post this on social media:

10 days left to pave the way for the Firefly Trail! Help close the gap: https://www.ioby.org/project/firefly

3. Tag us & tell us why you made a donation and why this trail is important to you! 

Firefly Trail Facebook

Example: I gave to Firefly Trail because I want our family to have a place to ride bikes, walk and talk together. Every donation counts! Make your gift by June 3rd: https://www.ioby.org/project/firefly

Firefly on Twitter: @fireflyGA

Excited to walk and bike with friends & family on the @firelfyGA trail! https://www.ioby.org/project/firefly

Deadline extended to June 3rd!

The Firefly Trail Model Miles Crowdfunding Campaign Deadline extended to June 3, 2017!! 

The Firefly Trail Board obtained an extension because there is approximately $4000 in funds still available from the Riverview Foundation that donors can match. 

We hope that this extension will allow potential donors the time they need to make their contribution.

Whether it's $5 or $500, we need your support before June 3rd. If you haven't made your gift yet to this trail project, please consider joining the more than 200 individuals, families and businesses who have already made a donation. We can't do this without you and every gift counts! 

Thank you for your continued support!

We have a special match challenge! Watch our video...

Our story on ioby's national blog!

by ioby
April 17, 2017
 

One of the coolest stories we get to tell, here at ioby, is the story in which someone smart and inspired moves away from home to live somewhere new for a period of time, gets exposed to a life-changing idea, and then brings it back home  when they return months or years later. These leaders  are like pollinators, buzzing from state to state, town to town, spreading ideas that work, and leaving  fruit-bearing trees in their wake. It’s a story that  never     gets old....

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY

 

 

 

Thank you to our Ticket To Ride Donors!

Thank you for all of the support we received during the Ticket To Ride event! We had record numbers at our 6th Annual Firefly Trail Ticket to Ride roll out of Athens and Winterville on Saturday, March 25. Thank you to all those who came out in support of the Firefly Trail.

Your generous donations helped us raise an additional $1,000 (plus the match) for our Trail!

Clay Winkler            Julie Kittleson           Dewitt Pittman          Betsy Pless

Bernie Schlitzer            Eric Nesmith             Rich Born                 Nancy Stangle

Mike Ely                 Mark Robirds             Pat Jarris               Anonymous

Debbi & John Bartolomei           Meghan Walsh            Julie Semones         

Naomi Bledsoe             Anonymous             Becky Poulson            David Proctor        

Karl Scott   Anonymous       Liv Bledsoe     Anonymous           Jane Boyd  

Check out more great Firefly Trail Photos here.

Double Your Donations - Special Match Announced!

Firefly Trail has just received a special match to double donations to our campaign, up to $5,000. To learn more about this wonderful opportunity visit: https://www.ioby.org/ioby.org/fireflymatch

photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

donors

  • Patrick Phelps
  • Brooke S.
  • Dave Hagaman
  • Anonymous
  • Evan Fliegel MD
  • The Devine Family
  • Louie Cook
  • Marie and Al Bruno
  • Pretty In Paint
  • Washington Grass Inn
  • Greensboro Sports, Spine & Wellness
  • Dr. David and Ms. Jen Williams
  • Koons Environmental Design
  • Glenn F Leavell
  • Anonymous
  • David M.
  • April L.
  • The Dean Family
  • Anonymous
  • O C DEAN
  • Tracie A Sanchez
  • Kirk C.
  • Philipp N.
  • Judith Eggleston
  • Frank Block, Jr.
  • Annelle & DL
  • Karen and Bruce Menke
  • Rick Eggleston
  • Ellen W.
  • Carol & Richard Shoemaker
  • Athens Atlas Chiropractic Center
  • Firefly Quilt & Fiber Show, Oglethorpe Co
  • Crozier
  • Anonymous
  • Madeline and Phil Van Dyck
  • Public donations from Marigold Festival
  • Anonymous
  • Generous matching donations for this Firefly Trail project were provided by The Riverview Foundation, Make Mine Home and Athens Physical Therapy
  • Edwin L.
  • Gregg Bayard & Maggie Kiley
  • Dennis & Faye Short
  • John Kissane
  • Gus
  • Gwen Ingram O'Looney
  • Brad Currens
  • CHICK EDMONSTON
  • Sara Beresford & Kevin Barnes
  • Sunshine Pediatrics
  • Andreas H.
  • Tarrant family
  • Sam Nash
  • Don Nelson
  • Anonymous
  • Gatchell Dougl
  • Union Point Steam Academy
  • Mary Cook
  • Ivette B.
  • Anonymous
  • Beth and Gary Hedrick
  • David Matthews-Morgan
  • Margaret P.
  • Dean F.
  • Victoria Pentlarge
  • Larry Dendy
  • Max & Karen Oyler
  • DAVID HAMILTON
  • Ryan and Emily Kleiber
  • Kate, Benton & Rhodes Kleiber
  • Janie Watts
  • Diane Myers
  • Pat Flynt
  • Anonymous
  • Christopher & Deirdre Sugiuchi
  • Becky Poulson and Deb Carter
  • Bank South
  • Sheila and Patrick Snead
  • Kathy and Chris West
  • Sarah Cook
  • Anonymous
  • James Okey / Frances Hensley
  • Cliff McLeroy
  • Clifton & Sylvia Pannell
  • The McCullick Family
  • John Newland
  • ANGELA MELTZER
  • Mark Risse
  • Lloyd Rieber
  • Sue M.
  • Jori H.
  • Julia Penning
  • Alex H
  • Melissa Link
  • Carol Myers & Richard Saunders
  • Camille Staley, REALTOR
  • Kelly Girtz
  • Tony Eubanks
  • Brad Morgan
  • Ken Sherman
  • Tina Fischlin
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Bob Quinn
  • Anonymous
  • Kelly and Parker Grow
  • Katherine K.
  • Tracy Kittle
  • Anonymous
  • paul bader
  • Michael Brugger
  • Randy Daniel
  • Bill & Rachel Winkle
  • James M. Scott
  • Anonymous
  • Lee Ann Pingel
  • Cindy F.
  • Pinnacle Bank
  • Anonymous
  • John Floyd
  • Paige M.
  • Paul Schliekelman
  • tony&jenny parker
  • Don and Joanne Waldron
  • Dr Ramona Warren Phelps
  • Rod and Sharon Dishman
  • Sherri K.
  • Babs Kall
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Rose (Devine) Scalzi
  • Anonymous
  • John Schelhas
  • KathyLynne Sanderson
  • Andy
  • Ray & Sherry Deaton
  • Bill Callaway
  • Sylvester Johnson
  • Yvonne Heidbrider
  • Jim Carpenter
  • Jan & Alex Brazier
  • Lake Oconee Cycling
  • Rick Riegel
  • John & Deb Bartolomei
  • Jim Baynes
  • GFWC Maxeys Woman's Club
  • Pam Cooke
  • Margaret Holt
  • Warren & Sherry Gilson
  • Douglas K.
  • James Gtg362i
  • Jackson B.
  • Maxeys Community Club
  • Carole & John Stephens
  • Richard D.
  • Bill and Barbara Cabaniss
  • St. Mary's Health Care System
  • Brenda Keene
  • Jan Mazzucco
  • Kathleen Mulchrone
  • Teresa Churchwell
  • Anonymous
  • Charlie Jameson
  • Gloria Doran
  • Beth Andrews
  • Lynne McClintock
  • Shelley Dodd
  • Ticket to Ride Donations
  • jean m.
  • Dennis & Faye Short
  • Edwin Lynch
  • Sherley and Chuck Selman
  • Sharon Stone McGlade
  • Anonymous
  • Fred Y.
  • Tony and Liz DeMarco
  • Georgia Bikes
  • Tyler Dewey
  • Maryam Gunja
  • Tractiongrips
  • Chester Cook
  • Anonymous
  • Ivette B.
  • Steve Coopat
  • The Berrys
  • Molly Dawson
  • David Lyle
  • Janet Hodges
  • G & G Kowalski
  • Lakin Garth
  • Emily Carr
  • TOTAL TRAINING CENTER
  • Frank E. Block, Jr., M.D.
  • Anonymous
  • Diane Alice Montevideo
  • Cindy and Ron Fetch
  • Heidi
  • John T
  • Merrill Morris
  • John Schelhas
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Ronnie Cook
  • Stacey Cook
  • Jeffrey Engel
  • Anonymous
  • Sarita Reddy
  • George K.
  • Webb Sisters
  • Christina Webb
  • Troy Welch
  • Anonymous
  • Andrew Crain
  • Christopher P.
  • M. Todd Harper
  • Bill and Evelyn Jones
  • Lee and John Albright
  • James Okey and Frances Hensley
  • Amy Cook
  • Lisa D.
  • MillionMile Greenway
  • George & Tammy Smith
  • Lewis Earnest
  • Nina H.
  • Ronald Cervero
  • RED RACKET TENNIS
  • Don & MaryAnna Burrow
  • Bill Poulson
  • David and Cassie Bryant
  • Bess & Buck Talley in honor of Pam & Doug Kleiber
  • John F.
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Giovanni and Dell Palazzolo
  • Allan/Susan A.
  • Balfour & Jean Hunnicutt
  • Dr. Lawrence S. and Rebecca R. Dempsey
  • MICHAEL CHILDS
  • Ken Sherman & Sherrie Gibney-Sherman
  • Peter B.
  • Anonymous
  • Nancy Canolty
  • Mark Johnson and Ann Sears
  • Becky Crosby
  • Anonymous
  • Kathy Welch
  • Michael Keene
  • Timothy Hedeen
  • Barbara H.
  • Sarah K
  • Dan Lorentz & Lori Ringhand
  • Linda and Norman Bruce
  • Heide G W.
  • Dr. Brita Berry
  • Doug Kleiber & Molly Talley
  • Doug Kleiber & Molly Talley
  • Tom and Jane Keene
  • Mark and Lila Ralston
  • Anonymous
  • Alex Patterson
  • Ivette L. Bledsoe
  • Sue Marion
  • Dorothy O'Niell
  • Babs Erwin & Caleb Synan
  • Mary Quinn
  • John, Meredith, and Nora Devine
  • GreenScapes Shrub & Turf, Inc.
  • Michael & Sharon Hall
  • Mary and Hardy Cook

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