HOUSTON, Miss. (WCBI) – They gathered at the Tanglefoot Trailhead in Houston, near what is left of the old depot. A mix of community leaders, economic development officials and specialists in rural design, to talk about how the trail can serve the community.
“The hard work is done, the trail is here, it’s great, people are using it, but now we kind of look at, ok, how do we make this even better?” said Cynthia Nikitin, who is with the Citizens Institute on Rural Design, which picked Houston as one of four towns nationwide to help develop a plan to maximize public spaces.
There are many possibilities for development along Houston’s portion of the 44-mile-long Tanglefoot Trail which runs from New Albany south through Pontotoc into Chickasaw County. Options including recreation facilities, public spaces or other community amenities.
One of the main goals is to get visitors from the trailhead to the downtown area. A workshop set for early next year will look at ways to do just that.
MSU students from the “Carl Small Town Center” will help organize the workshop and will help implement ideas.
“It’s a really wonderful opportunity for them, it’s a real world project that they get to be involved in, they get to see first hand how to interact with community members and produce great results,” said Leah Kemp from the Carl Small Town Center.
Economic development officials say having a plan to draw more people to the trail and the community will benefit everyone.
“We want to develop further businesses, we want to develop the landscapes, so people are attracted into this community, it has much much potential,” said John Walden, chairman of the Chickasaw Development Foundation.
Once plans are finalized, experts will look at options to pay for the projects.
The workshop to gather ideas for development along the Tanglefoot Trail in Houston is set for mid February.