Thermal Belt Rail Trail (TBRT) Enhancement Master Plan
More than 13.5 miles of the Thermal Belt Rail Trail have been constructed throughout Rutherford County since the grassroots trail-building effort began over a decade ago. In 2021, the Thermal Belt Rail Trail Partners, an alliance of local leaders responsible for the management of the trail, adopted the Thermal Belt Rail Trail Enhancement Master Plan, identifying several areas slated for improvement, including: trail access & safety, signage, public art, and landscaping.
Rutherford Bound and the Watts Water facility in Spindale have teamed up to upgrade TBRT landscaping on a highly-visible section of trail near East Main and Callahan Koon Road. Additionally, students from the local school system are providing original artwork that will be included on a screen covering a lengthy stretch of security fencing.
A Collaborative Effort
Coincidentally, both the TBRT Partners and representatives from Watts Water each independently identified the need to upgrade the character of the TBRT along this specific trail segment and reached out to Rutherford Bound and the Town of Spindale. Employees from Watts Water came up with the idea of involving artwork from area students and a true community collaboration was born!
When approached, the local school system was eager to participate and provide student artwork. Ritchie Garland, Marketing and Communications Director for Rutherford County Schools, is happy to see creations included from K-12 students district-wide.
If all goes according to plan, this project should be completed by the last day of school, so the students’ hard work and creativity can be recognized in a public ceremony, along with the trail’s newest corporate sponsor and other local benefactors.