The undeniably strong connection to nature that exists among Celina residents came into clear focus recently as the City approved and adopted the 2019 Trails Master Plan, a document that encapsulates citizens’ preferences on future development of walking and biking trails.
“The plan that was adopted is the result of over a year’s worth of conversations, public discussions, surveys, and social media interactions,” says Development Services Director Dusty McAfee. “The plan not only captures residents’ preferences; it also lays out a scenario for where within the City the trails should be laid out.”
The plan combines paved hike and bike trails along existing and future thoroughfares, greenbelt areas, easement spaces, specified bike lanes, trails along railroad tracks, and trails incorporated as part of the Collin County Master Trails plan. Taken together, the Celina plan lays out an envisioned trails system that displaces about 150 linear miles.
“For Celina residents and planners to identify a trails system that, placed end-to-end, would reach from Celina to Waco is remarkable,” he said. “It shows the level of affinity that the City in general has with nature and with enjoying the outdoors, whether walking or riding. The new Master Trails Plan will ensure that future generations of Celina residents have the opportunity to commune with nature, explore the outdoors, and be inspired and filled with awe.”
Some 60 of those linear miles are designed along creek beds, offering walkers and riders safe, traffic-free lanes along undeveloped strands within the City. The plan also includes 14 potential trail heads, presenting conveniently- located starting and stopping points. Based on current population numbers, the plan can be defined as having a resident ratio of one mile of trail for each 1,800 residents.
“The City’s Trails Master Plan is, of course, one of several interconnected plans that include parks, open spaces, transportation corridors, economic development centers, the downtown district, and many other proposed plans that, taken as a whole, will define Celina for years to come,” added McAfee. “Finalizing and adopting the Trails Master Plan is an important step in that visualization process.”
Serving as a demonstration trail is the proposed Bobcat Trail, near the downtown area. Plans call for many of the trail amenities that will be incorporated into those identified in the master plan. These amenities include: three- quarters of a mile along a creek bed; a pair of pedestrian bridges across the creek; an amphitheater; fitness courts; covered basketball courts; tennis courts; a community garden; and venues for outdoor dining.
“Many of these features will be included in the trails as they are developed,” he said. “All in all, the plan is very reflective of what residents have strongly expressed to us about what they want in walking and biking trails.”
The 2019 Trails Master Plan may be viewed by visiting https://www.celina- tx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/5406/Trails-Master-Plan-Adopted.