(WJHL) — A Tri-Cities architectural designer is helping communities come together to build trails and parks that will benefit visitors and their residents for years to come.
Wesley Bradley’s passion lies outdoors, spearheading the expansions of the Hampton Watershed and Tweetsie Trails, and building bike parks in the Tri-Cities. As a SORBA (Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association) Trail Liaison, he works with local leaders to ensure everyone has access to the outdoors.
“I kind of got involved with both the parks and rec group, the county and the city to kind of shepherd what we could do with that,” Bradley said. “Through that process, we’ve come up with a master plan, a phase one, phase two and phase three construction effort. It’s also led into the donation of the Tweetsie land, which will allow us to expand the Tweetsie, so it’s been an ongoing thing.”
Bradley said having these parks and expansions is a big marketing tool for the region for those who live here, and those moving here.
“Both the Hampton watershed trails have the possibility of 1200 feet of elevation gain, and be a double-digit trail system, which is a big draw in itself,” he said. “Then, expanding the Tweetsie Trail is an amazing opportunity to expand a greenbelt that already connects two cities, when we can go to one other community with the expansion. I just see the benefits of all the outdoor recreation potential that it has and the industry it drives, being its own industry.”
That industry, outdoor recreation, is booming.
“I think it’s the lifeblood, an artery of the community,” Bradley said. “It’s a good way to get around and stay connected, and explore our area.”
Bradley told News Channel 11 that the community, working together, will all reap the benefits of people visiting and driving the outdoor recreation offerings.
“We have a ton of natural resources in this area, and they’ve just never been tapped,” he said. “They’ve been doing this out west and the northeast for 20-30 years, and they’ve created really great communities in the process. And, I think it’s something we can do here well, too.”