Eastern Wake News

July 22, 2014

Knightdale, Zebulon accept Rex grant money

Town planners have received the money and OK from elected officials to go ahead with a new project that will give children at Knightdale Elementary School more opportunities to foster healthy habits.

Zebulon and Knightdale have received the money and an OK from the John Rex Endowment to go ahead with new projects aimed at increasing access to healthy food and encouraging residents to create a healthier lifestyle.

The money will help fund a new Farmer’s Market in Zebulon and support the creation of a Greenway Master Plan to address the lack of sidewalks and other transportation issues in town.

Sheila Long, Zebulon’s Community Center Coordinator, said work on the master plan is expected to be complete within the next year and the town is working to complete the farmer’s market in time to open next spring.

“It’s going to take lots of hard work and planning to get it established to make it sustainable,” Long said of the market.

Knightdale formally accepted a $210,000, three-year grant from the John Rex Endowment fund last week, which will pay for the town’s “CrossTies” project.

It will create a bridge over the railroad track barrier so pedestrians, cyclists and students from the nearby Knightdale Elementary can reach the sidewalk on First Avenue, Knightdale Station Park and other trails.

The town’s grant application pointed out that the project not only provides exercise, it will allow the neighborhoods on that side of town to access the Farmer’s Market at Knightdale Station.

The grant money will pay for the physical improvements and the town wants to bring in a consultant who can moderate discussions since railroad companies will have to be involved with the project.

“With all of the public funds being invested in this area to upgrade our parks, streets and other infrastructure, it is important that we work with the railroad companies and state transportation agencies to keep this nucleus of resources connected and accessible to all,” said Senior Planner Jeff Triezenberg.

The John Rex Endowment gives money to Wake County municipalities to help increase access to healthy food and active living (like parks and greenways). The organization also focuses on what it calls “vulnerable” populatons.

Garner, Morrisville, Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina will also receive grant money from the endowment.

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