Ribbon-cutting held for new River Trail extension

The ribbon cutting ceremony included, from left, Deputy City Manager EA Hoppe; City Councilmembers Kim Clarkson and Gary Cochrane; Schreiner University President Charlie McCormick; Mayor Bill Blackburn; City Councilmember Judy Eychner; Economic Improvement Corporation President Greg Richards; Parks and Recreation Director Ashlea Boyle; Schreiner University Dean of Students and City of Kerrville Parks Advisory Board member Charles M. Hueber; and City Manager Mark McDaniel.

The City of Kerrville held an official ribbon-cutting recently to celebrate the completion of another segment of The Kerrville River Trail. The approximately one-mile segment connects the existing trail from G Street to Schreiner University. This extension increases the length of the entire trail to approximately six miles.

The majority of the trail is complete and open for use, but due to COVID-19 restrictions the last quarter of the trail ending at the trailhead at Schreiner University is closed for the time being. Trail users are welcome to use the trail up until this point, at which clearly marked fencing shows where they will need to turn around and return to G Street.

The trail is still a work in progress, but the city’s Parks and Recreation Department wanted to open this segment as soon as possible for the public’s enjoyment. Please remember to stay on the trail as it does cross through private property.

The City of Kerrville partnered with Schreiner University to further enhance the River Trail project for community enjoyment.

Additional exciting improvements are being completed on Schreiner’s campus that complement the trail, such as a new crushed-granite perimeter campus trail with public access that connects to the River Trail, new public restrooms, a sand volleyball court and Schreiner University history kiosk, a “Trailhead Beer Garden” facility that will serve as a new establishment for food, drinks and entertainment, and improvements to the public “disc golf” course on campus.

Regarding the partnership with the city in creating this new connection, Schreiner University President Charlie McCormick said, “This section of the River Trail is a metaphoric and literal illustration of the way Schreiner University is connected to its local community. In the Schreiner 2023 Strategic Plan, we plainly state that we will invest in the creation of opportunities for delight within the campus and Kerrville community. We do so because we know that this investment will be returned to us many times over. This River Trail extension and Trailhead destination is a perfect expression of that symbiotic relationship."

Another ribbon-cutting and community event to celebrate these exciting improvements on the Schreiner campus is anticipated at a later date when it is more appropriate, given the current pandemic conditions.

“The River Trail has opened new possibilities for Kerrville citizens - certainly for walking and running, but also as a way to explore and see up close the riverfront area and the diversity of the trees, shrubs and grasses,” Kerrville Mayor Bill Blackburn said. “To walk from one end of the trail to the other is a great nature walk. We are a healthier city with all the people who are getting their exercise or just pleasant time outside on the River Trail.

“I applaud those who preceded me in city government who saw the possibility of the River Trail,” Blackburn added.

The latest $1.5-million River Trail segment was funded primarily through the Economic Improvement Corporation (EIC), the city’s 4B sales tax corporation, and approved by the Kerrville City Council. The EIC has funded the River Trail project since its conception. The River Trail encourages economic development and tourism and provides a quality of life amenity for local residents.

“The River Trail is a project that was identified strongly in the city’s Kerrville 2050 Comprehensive Master Plan adopted in 2018,” said Ashlea Boyle, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Kerrville. “There is an entire chapter within Kerrville 2050 dedicated to Parks/Open Space/River Corridor.”

There are numerous River Trail-specific action items throughout several chapters of Kerrville 2050 relating to the continued development and extension of the River Trail.

“Creating a connection to Schreiner University is a specific action item and was a great start for another segment based on its easy connection to the existing trail,” Boyle said.

“This asset will provide the connectivity and opportunity for the students and surrounding neighborhood to access the trail, and for the community to access Schreiner University. We consistently hear positive feedback from the community regarding the River Trail, and the desire to continue to add segments.”

Schreiner University Dean of Students and City of Kerrville Parks Advisory Board member Charles M. Hueber added, “Over the past few years I have made extensive use of our river trail here in Kerrville and, after previewing the new extension, I believe it will quickly become my favorite part of the trail. It is simply beautiful. I am proud of our community for working to extend the trail and excited to see us continue to create more connections in the future.”

“The River Trail not only serves to improve the quality of life of the residents of Kerrville and surrounding areas, but it also acts as an economic driver for our community,” EIC President Greg Richards said.

“Whether for a weekend or a lifetime, folks are drawn to Kerrville, and especially to its best and most unique asset – the River Trail. In a way, it serves as Kerrville’s ‘Front Door’ – a place to welcome and be welcomed to our city.

“Kerrville’s EIC has been a big proponent and investor in the River Trail,” Richards continued. “It has been a great way for our city to invest its tax dollars in an asset that benefits our entire community. Your EIC is especially grateful for the vision and diligence exhibited by those who have come before us to bring this great resource to Kerrville.”

The City of Kerrville debuts this new section of the trail to the community. They would like to thank all of their partners, stakeholders, and community support that made this project a reality.

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