Nature lovers, families, runners, cyclists, and anyone who enjoys exploring Plano’s trail system will be happy to know that a new trail connection along the Cottonwood Creek Greenbelt is underway.
The connection—located in the northeastern part of the city—consists of 2.3 miles of concrete trail that will wind its way through parts of the greenbelt previously not accessible to the public. The new 12-foot-wide trail will allow for strollers, wheelchairs and other non-motorized means of transportation, making it accessible to all. The project is part of an effort to complete part of Plano’s 1985 Comprehensive Bikeway Plan.What makes the project even more intriguing is the land around it. Plano Parks and Recreation’s park planners know the importance of preserving our city’s native landscape while at the same time providing access in order for the public to enjoy these pristine surroundings safely. While this land—along with that of Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve—has a history of agricultural use, recent decades have allowed us to restore and rehabilitate these areas. Today, Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve is home to numerous species of birds, mammals, insects and plants.That is why construction site management is so important when it comes to Cottonwood Creek Greenbelt. Limiting the amount of disturbed areas as we work to construct the new trail is a top priority, as is rehabilitating the area with native topsoil and Blackland Prairie grass seed mix once the trails are complete.“Trails are a basic element for park infrastructure. Passive recreation use is extremely important to the City of Plano, and so is providing access to that open space,” Park Planning Manager Renee Jordan said. “There’s always a balance that must be struck when it comes to accessibility and preservation. When achieved, it creates a place that everyone—humans, plants and animals alike—can appreciate and share.”
The new trail is also part of Plano’s Bicycle Transportation Plan, the 2001 Six Cities Trail Plan between the cities of Allen, Frisco, Garland, McKinney, Plano and Richardson, the 2012 Collin County Regional Trails Master Plan, and the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ 2045 Regional Veloweb. The project is funded with the City of Plano and Collin County bond funds as well as Federal Highway Administration Transportation Alternatives Program funds.To learn more about these connection projects and other Plano Parks and Recreation projects, please visit our Parks Projects and Plans webpage.