A New Name: The Uptown Connection Trail & Park!

September 7, 2012


A New Name: The Uptown Connection Trail & Park!

MARTINSVILLE, VA - September, 6, 2012 - In celebration of the renovations in the Uptown Spur Trail, the City of Martinsville held a contest to rename the trail and park that was a result of a community vision shown in the Uptown Revitalization Plan authored by Land Planning Design & Associates.

The City of Martinsville, in partnership with the MHC Economic Development Corporation; Gateway Streetscape Foundation; the Harvest Foundation; Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association; Martinsville Parks & Recreation; Henry County Parks and Recreation; and Dan River Basin Association is pleased to announce the winning name of the former Uptown Spur Trail. 

The top three winners received a MHC Prize Pack and grand prize co-winners received a basket of local products.  The Grand Prize co-winners are Nancy Coleman of Ridgeway, VA and Jennifer Gregory of Martinsville.  The submission was The Uptown Connection Trail and Park.  The top 3 winners were Elizabeth Stanley of Stanleytown, VA, Bobby Harmon of Collinsville, VA, and Cathy Burton of Axton, VA.  Over 60 entries were received for this contest!

"We were thrilled by the level of participation in this project.  This really illustrates to us how vital our Smith River Trail System has become to our community," said Susan McCulloch, Community Planner with the City of Martinsville.

Extensive work has been done at the trailhead on Depot Street, thanks to funding from the Harvest Foundation.  The space was first redesigned by LPDA and with help from Ray Gibbs of Phoenix CDC. The first step was for the City's Public Works Department to move Depot Street closer to the trail so that it would meet at the intersection of Franklin and Liberty Street, and then the parking area could be united to become one large lot. Next, the lot was graded and an attractive retaining wall and sidewalks were added in for more pedestrian access and to contribute to the setting.

A greenspace with trees will be between the retaining wall and Depot Street.  The steps were removed and replaced with much more pedestrian-friendly stairs, that semi-circle up to an overlook within sight of the new American Flag mural by Artist Scott LoBaido. People will be able to sit and talk prior to an evening at Theatre Works, a lecture at MHC Heritage Center & Museum, or a class at New College Institute.

A comfort station, paid for by VDOT funds as part of the City/County Dick& Willie Trail System, as well as funds from the Harvest Foundation will be added convenience to the space.  The enhancements to the station to resemble a train depot were designed by Ray Gibbs of Phoenix CDC.  Additional lights will be placed for safety.  Lastly, in September, plantings will be done by Lewis Landscaping in partnership with Gateway Streetscape Foundation.  Now, the space has a new name to celebrate its transformation.

This parking lot is the main connector linking Martinsville's historic district to the Uptown Spur Trail which connects to the Dick and Willie Passage Rail Trail, a part of the Smith River Trail System.

Pictured Left to Right: Jennifer Doss, MHC EDC Director of Tourism; Jennifer Gregory, Co-Grand Prize Winner; Nancy Coleman, Co-Grand Prize Winner; and Susan McCulloch, Community Planner with the City of Martinsville stand on Franklin Street overlooking the Uptown Connection Trail & Park.