Since its inception the Tucker-Northlake CID has advocated for a multi-use trail network in Tucker and the surrounding community. Today that advocacy received a significant boost with the creation of the Friends of Tucker Path, a community group focused on advancing the goals of Tucker’s citywide trail plan.
The Tucker PATH Trail Master Plan and Implementation Strategy, adopted by the City of Tucker in 2019, includes a directive to establish an independent community group to “coordinate fundraising, public relations, community education, and implementation support for the planning and construction of multi-use trails throughout the City of Tucker.” The plan says the organization should be named “Friends of Tucker Path.”
“Community engagement flows naturally in Tucker,” says Matthew Lee, Executive Director of the Tucker-Northlake CID. “In the coming months and years leveraging that engagement will be essential in advancing the trail project in all directions, locally and regionally.”
The organization is sponsored by the Tucker-Northlake Community Improvement Corporation, the non-profit arm of the Tucker-Northlake CID. Since 2013 the CID has been the leading organization advocating for multi-use trails in Tucker. The CID has partnered with the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) Program on the 2015 and 2020 Tucker-Northlake Livable Centers Initiative studies which includes plans for multi-use trails in the district, as well as the Downtown Tucker Grid Plan, which lays out plans for how the historic alley network can be reclaimed and utilized for multi-use trails and public spaces.
The CID put its plans for a trail system on hold in 2016 in order to work with the newly establish City of Tucker on a much larger plan with regional connectivity. That alignment opened doors for conversations with commercial property owners that would not have been possible for the City otherwise. The next step is having those conversations with residential property owners.
“Those conversations should be neighbor to neighbor,” says Lee. “Doing so in an organized way with, accurate information, isn’t always easy. We saw an opportunity to help lift that burden by using our existing non-profit to support an advocacy group with funding, staffing, and meeting space.” Setting those basics in order more fully enables this new organization to focus on its mission as outlined in the trail plan.
The Friends of Tucker Path Board of Directors functions independently of the CID, while benefitting from shared staff and resources. This relationship allows the Friends of Tucker Path to operate outside the boundaries of the CID and fully advocate for the city-wide plan. The group is governed by a Board of Directors who volunteer their time and expertise to help guide the organization in its mission. The inaugural board members are Malisa Anderson-Strait, Kurt Heiss, Gloria Johnson, Matthew Lee, Susan Ludwig, Dante McDowell, Steven Robinson, Dave Sanders, Mark Slawson, and Jonathan Vaughters. Beth Ganga, Director of Projects and Planning at the Tucker-Northlake CID, serves as the organization’s director. For more information visit tuckerpath.org.