Eastern Wake News

Parks and Rec grant would pay for new crossings near Hodge Road, Knightdale Elementary

Knightdale wants to connect Knightdale Elementary to the new park and other amenities in Old Town.
Knightdale wants to connect Knightdale Elementary to the new park and other amenities in Old Town. mhankerson@newsobserver.com

Knightdale Parks and Recreation is seeking a grant that will help the town build new crossings near elementary schools to promote an active lifestyle.

The John Rex Endowment’s Healthy Community Grant is a three-year, $210,000 grant, Parks and Recreation Director Tina Cheek told Town Council while seeking their approval at the last council meeting.

The grant money, she proposed, would be used to build sidewalks from Knightdale Elementary School to the new Knightdale Station Park and a sidewalk from Hodge Road Elementary School and Mingo Creek Greenway.

Knightdale Elementary’s connection to the park would also give students an easy way to get to the town’s Farmer’s Market.

Those plans are also in line with the town’s Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan, which prioritizes the completion of different pedestrian crossings in the town.

The grant program 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.

In her presentation to the Council, Cheek said Hodge Road and Knightdale elementary schools are some of the town’s most economically disadvantaged students.

By providing the new crossings, the children can better take advantage of some the of the town’s new amenities that will also keep them active.

The Healthy Community Grant would pay for planning, development and construction stages of the two proposed crossings.

Knightdale Senior Planner Jeff Triezenberg, who helped Cheek with the grant application, told Council one crossing would be on Hodge Road and another would be on Smithfield Road or Fayetteville Street.

Letters of Intent, which are the first step in the grant process, were due Feb. 21.