August 25, 2020 – The TRED (Trails for Recreation and Economic Development) Rome Floyd Board of Directors is pleased to announce the hiring of Julie Blanton Smith as Executive Director of Northwest Georgia’s only non-profit trail advocacy group. Since organizing in 2012, TRED Rome Floyd has operated with a volunteer Board of Directors and Julie has served as volunteer President, however, thanks to a generous donation from Hardy Realty, Julie will be the first paid staff member. TRED is dedicated to the development and expansion of trails with the belief that trails are integral to the economic health and well being of communities.
TRED was a leading advocate for two successful SPLOST trail projects, the recently completed Mt Berry Trail and the future Lindale Trail. TRED also designed and built Jackson Hill and GE trails, urban trails that have added to recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. “I am very excited to continue my work with TRED as we transform Rome, Floyd County, and beyond by creating connections via trails to neighborhoods, city centers, and places of employment. As we have seen during this pandemic, trails are inclusive and serve as a critical connection piece for people to visit with others, get fresh air, exercise, transport people to jobs, and ultimately, trails make happier people and communities.”
TRED’s strategic goals are to connect the Heritage Riverways Trail network to Rome’s four higher education institutions, connect Floyd County to the Silver Comet Trail, enhance the trail user experience, raise awareness of trails and their economic benefits, and create a healthier community for residents and visitors.