TV and Video:

Times-Georgian: Special Report – Zagster Bike Share Unveiling!

Fox 5 Atlanta – Carrollton Students Skip the Bus and Ride to Class

Tired of waiting in long carpool lines and at bus stops, Carrollton parents and students think they have found a better way to get to and from school.

Since students of all ages use the trail, they ride or walk in groups with parents accompanying them. Kent Edwards, Superintendent of Carrollton City Schools, said the parents pushed this idea along. Edwards said, “Really, it’s a grassroots-type of movement or initiative. We have a large group of parents who have continued to foster us and really support it.”

AJC News: Police crackdown on cars on path meant for walkers, bikers

2016 Century 21 Carrollton GreenBelt Promotional Video

2014 Century 21 Carrollton GreenBelt Promotional Video

National spotlight:

The Health Benefits of a Bicycle-Pedestrian Trail

In fall 2015, a team of researchers from the University of West Georgia began a research project to explore the relationship between physical activity, perceptions of health and use of the GreenBelt. In a mixed-method approach, researchers asked whether and how the presence of the trail changed users’ participation in and attitudes toward physical activity. A team of four students handed out surveys at four separate, high-traffic locations on the GreenBelt and received 269 completed surveys. After a preliminary analysis of that data, 14 individuals were interviewed using a targeted set of questions.

Unexpectedly, researchers also discovered the importance, particularly for women, of the GreenBelt as a place to socialize and be with others.

Common perception: Trails = (physical activity = health) + socializing

Findings: Trails = (physical activity + socializing) = health

On the Right Path

More than just a form of recreation, Georgia’s greenwayscorridors of protected open space that often follow natural land and water features and include some form of a pedestrian or bike trail – are becoming a viable option for alternative transportation in many areas of the state. Though construction is made possible through a number of funding sources – some private, some public – everyone stands to reap the benefits of trails and greenways through better health and well-being, increased real estate values, and spurred economic development and neighborhood revitalization.

Located in a rapidly growing area, the greenway’s role as an alternative transportation offering was central to the overall design, says Erica Studdard, executive director of Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt, which was founded in 2011.

Blazing new trails in Carrollton

As a result of the Greenbelt, the University of West Georgia’s Department of Anthropology, in partnership with the Tanner Medical Center and Friends of Carrollton Greenbelt, is measuring its usage, who is on the trail and why.

Richards said this is not something that just big cities can do, but small cities
can also achieve a linear park network.

One of the things Dwayne Hicks, a broker with Metro West Realty, has enjoyed seeing is the kind of people who are out using the Greenbelt. “There are all sorts of people, not one particular socioeconomic class of people,” he said. “It feels like a community, and there is a sense of connection that hasn’t been here before. It’s pulled our town in again, and it has been cool.”

Carroll County: Adding Greenspace

Though he credits the citizens and leaders of Carroll County with the success of the Carroll County Greenspace Initiative, Commission Chairman Robert Barr concedes there is a correlation between his participation in the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL) in 2000 and the timely introduction of the county’s Greenspace Initiative, for which Carroll won a county excellence award.

Regional News:

Carrollton’s GreenBelt in use since first concrete was poured

  • By Winston Skinner/Newnan Times-Herald (Nov. 26, 2016)
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Carrollton has built 18.4 miles of greenway trail. The success of the Carrollton project has not gone unnoticed by Newnan officials, who are now planning the local project. Newnan Mayor Pro-Tem Cynthia Jenkins said she loves the Carrollton Greenbelt.

Newnan Mayor Keith Brady said he has gotten positive comments about the concept “from people at the grocery store and church.”

“I’ve heard from numerous folks who are excited about this. There’s a lot of public support,” Newnan Councilman Clayton Hicks said.

Public invited to bike trail plan meeting

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LaGRANGE — City officials plan to host a public meeting July 19 regarding a proposed bike and walking trail that would run throughout the city and connect neighborhoods, schools, parks and businesses. […]

Similar trails exist in cities around Georgia, including Carrollton, Atlanta and St. Simon’s island. The trails are typically 8 to 12 feet wide, paved, two-lane paths marked with various trail heads and signage. In Carrollton, the Greenbelt Trail is a 16-mile loop that connects shopping, residential neighborhoods, the University of West Georgia, a disc golf course and many other amenities and employers.

Rory Wojcik, a recently elected Carrollton City Council member, ran on a platform of creating a pedestrian friendly community, and said the Greenbelt has been a transformative feature for LaGrange’s neighbor to the north.

“The Greenbelt has benefited Carrollton in a number of ways, from a recreational standpoint with physical health, but also looking at emotional well-being, transportation and really changing our city from being automobile centric to being a more pedestrian and cycle friendly community,” he told the Daily News by phone.

Local news:

Recreation, leisure programs benefit residents, city economy

  • Arthia Nixon/Times-Georgian (Jan 15, 2017)
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While sports continue to be a draw for both locals and out-of-towners, projects designed to appeal to those who want to get into nature, such as Hobbs Farm and the GreenBelt, are also popular.

“I’m glad we have a community, mayor, and council that supports programs like this in our town.” (Peter Maierhofer, Dierector of Parks and Recreation Department)

CPRD is responsible for planning, operating and maintaining parks, recreation facilities, and the GreenBelt. The park system includes 410 acres of land and 29 individual parks. The Parks and Recreation Facilities Division also oversees 15 recreational facilities for the community. One of the highlights for that division of 2016 was its role in completing the Hobbs Farm Disc Golf Course.

(Mayor) Hollingsworth cites 2016 progress

  • Arthia Nixon/Times-Georgian (Dec 29, 2016)
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In the coming year, the city plans to continue its road paving and sidewalk program. A sidewalk is currently under construction along Alabama Street between Fourth and Columbia. The intersection at Alabama and Maple is scheduled for work in the spring.

“I am very thankful for the quality of our services we provide to our citizens,” Hollingsworth said. “We have an ISO 1-rated fire department, a well-respected police department, an award-winning water and wastewater departments, exemplary sanitation and street departments, and nationally certified parks and recreation departments. Our downtown is vibrant and successful and our cultural arts program is headed to the next level with our new director, Tim Chapman.”

“We are concerned with the state of commercial businesses along some of our major corridors like Bankhead Avenue,” said Hollingsworth. “We have formed a beautification committee of the stakeholders and expect to see this area and other major corridors change in a positive direction. But we look forward to 2017 … the accomplishments, the improvements, the challenges, and mostly the continuance of providing Carrollton citizens with the highest level of quality and efficient services.”

Carrollton council approves bike-friendly resolution

Carrollton is continuing to make progress in being recognized nationally as a bike-friendly community. The City Council on Monday night unanimously approved a resolution of support for the City of Carrollton’s Bicycle Friendly Community application to the League of American Bicyclists.

The approval came shortly after it was revealed that the University of West Georgia will be making a similar application in 2017 to be designated a Bicycle Friendly University.

The city partnered with the Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt to complete the application, and a resolution of support from the City Council is part of the necessary submittal requirement.

Friends of Carrollton GreenBelt Vice-President Martyna Griffin said the application will focus on specific things.

“It focuses on five areas and is valid for four years,” said Griffin. “Becoming designated as a Bicycle Friendly Community will enable the formation of new partnerships and momentum for bicycle improvements, strengthen grant applications for bicycle facilities like spurs for the Carrollton GreenBelt, and strengthen the city’s messaging related to education, encouragement, evaluation and enforcement.

Bicyclists to raise money for local women’s shelter

  • Arthia Nixon/Times-Georgian (

Having raised $17,000 last year for the Carroll County Emergency Women’s Shelter, organizers of this year’s fourth annual Tour de Carroll bike ride are optimistic they will surpass that mark and help even more women and children seeking an immediate escape from domestic violence. 

“We had well over a 100 (riders) last year (2015) who participated and it really was a wonderful turnout,” Boyce said. “We do allow children to ride with family members who are over 18 years old and a whole family can participate for $50. We do have a lot who preregister but we get a whole lot on the day of the event as well. The majority of our riders come from Carroll, Heard, Coweta and Haralson counties. But we did have some come from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and someone from South Carolina who was visiting but they got a bike and came out to ride with us.”

Adam Alvord of West Georgia Cycling who supplied a 1963 limited edition Schwinn Speedster bicycle to be raffled off

GreenBelt highlights 2016 Georgia Trail Summit report

  • Arthia Nixon/Times-Georgian (Aug 9, 2016)
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The Georgia Trail Summit pumped $33,000 into Carrollton’s economy over the two and a half days the city host the event last spring. In their executive summary which was released last week, organizers said the event was so successful there is a $6,700 surplus for the 2017 summit which will take place in Columbus.

One hundred percent of those attending the summit rated their Carrollton GreenBelt walk as an excellent experience, and 66.67 percent of attendees rated biking the Carrollton GreenBelt as excellent ,while 33 percent said it was very good. 

As for the sessions, the only presentation that received a 100 percent excellent rating for its content was “Keeping Carrollton’s GreenBelt Safe and Well Maintained” by the Carrollton Police Department. Others averaged 80 percent favorable. 

Carrollton to host 2016 Georgia Trail Summit in April

  • Arthia Nixon/Times-Georgian (Feb 18, 2016)
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“Across the state, trails encourage healthy lifestyles, offer inexpensive, clean transportation choices, plus serve as economic development catalysts for increased tourism, property values and sales tax revenues and enhance quality of life for everyone,” said Sanchez.

Carrollton was selected as the host city because the first 13 miles of its 16-mile Carrollton GreenBelt has emerged “as a shining role model in Georgia for getting it right.” The summit will feature the benefits of public-private partnerships and collaborating with PATH Foundation, trail safety experts and the lessons learned by local leaders from Friends of the Carrollton GreenBelt.

A more healthful community

  • Peter Maierhofer, Parks and Recreation Department Director / For the Times-Georgian (Nov 14, 2015)
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Today, we are realizing that it is not enough to know to be healthy; we need to integrate healthy practices into how we are living our lives. And the easier they are to integrate the more willing we are to change our behaviors. By changing policies, and shaping physical landscapes, we can create an environment that encourages healthier living.

The good thing about our Carrollton community is we are beginning to not only to talk the talk, but also walk the walk. We are increasing bicycle lanes in our community, and the university, led by Dr. Kyle Marrero, has a smoke-free campus and added bicycle lanes that go all the way around the campus.

Then you throw in the Carrollton GreenBelt, which is a beautiful 16-mile trail system that can get you around our Carrollton community safely and without having to use a motorized vehicle, and you begin to see how our town is making a cultural shift to lead a healthier lifestyle.

As an active runner for many years I can tell you without any statistical data that more people are getting out and exercising just by the amount of people you see walking, running, and biking on the GreenBelt. You also see more people biking to work, and kids using the GreenBelt to bike to school which will continue to make our community healthier.

Tour de Carroll raises money for women’s shelter

Photo: Melanie Boyd for TImes-Georgian
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It’s not the Tour de France, and it’s not even a race, but the third annual Tour de Carroll today is a bicycle riding event that will raise money for the Carroll County Emergency Shelter.

Planning advocate praises Carrollton fitness efforts

  • Winston Jones/Times-Georgian (Sep 23, 2015)

    Mark Fenton in Carrollton / Photo courtesy of Melanie Boyd and Times-Georgian
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A nationally renowned alternative transportation advocate praised Carrollton Wednesday as a small city that’s taking steps to create a healthier community.

“This place is a model where you can see what your funding is doing,” said Mark Fenton, one of the keynote speakers for the Get Healthy, Live Well Health Summit, an all-day event sponsored by Tanner Health System. “The best thing you can do for somebody is to keep them from getting sick. The best way to do that is to put policies in place that keep people from being sick in the first place”.

Fenton praised Carrollton’s bicycle and pedestrian friendly projects, such as the GreenBelt, which are encouraging people to be more physically active. He said the key to reverse the negative trends of more obesity and less physical activity is to design communities so people can live healthier lives.

Tour de Carroll bike ride draws crowd to GreenBelt

  • From Staff Reports / Times-Georgian (
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Ricky Stilley for Times-Georgian
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    The Carrollton GreenBelt got its first big test this past Sunday as over 125 riders took to the newly completed Hobbs Farm pathway as participants in the first annual Tour de Carroll community bike ride.

    With clear skies and a full parking lot, riders took advantage of the opportunity to raise funds for the Carroll County Emergency Shelter as well as experiencing the newly-opened Hobbs Farm trailhead park.