By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Terry Anastas knows the value of Quincy's parks.
"Growing up in Quincy, I've always used Quincy's park system," Anastas said. "They are a great asset for the community."
A member of the Friends of the Trails, Anastas is hopeful others who share his passion will be willing to contribute to the next phase of the Cedar Creek Trail project.
The Friends of the Trails is starting its drive to raise $500,000 so that the next section of Cedar Creek Trail can be built from 12th to Fifth streets. Anastas, one of the chairmen for the fund drive, says the campaign already is off to a good start.
He said the group already has secured cash donations and pledges in excess of $250,000. The Friends of the Trails has until Dec. 31, 2014, to raise the $500,000. If the group is successful, the Quincy Park District will match that total. The Park District Board agreed in February that it would match the total through the use of general obligation or alternate bonds within 24 months after the Friends of the Trail makes its donation.
Anastas said the Friends of the Trails has three major backers already -- Blessing Foundation, the Quincy Medical Group Foundation and the Quincy Rotary Foundation. The Friends of the Trails is having the Quincy Park Foundation Inc. act as its fiscal sponsor. The Friends of the Trails is able to use the foundation's tax-exempt status to collect donations. As a result, money donated to the project can be used as a tax deduction by people or groups that donate.
The first phase of the project opened in summer 2009. The asphalt-covered trail is near Bob Mays Park at 18th and Kochs Lane. It's a mile long and stretches between 12th to 18th streets. The second phase of the trail has been in limbo for more than two years because of the lack of state and federal grants.
According to the Quincy Greenways and Trails Plan developed in 1999, the Cedar Creek Trail would be built from Bonansinga Drive near the Mississippi River to 36th Street.
Donors are able to pick various donation levels. They are:
º One foot of trail, $350.
º One yard of trail, $1,000.
º One rod (16.5 feet) of trail, $5,000.
º One chain (66 feet) of trail, $20,000.
º One bridge, $100,000.
Donors also have the ability to make a one-time gift of any denomination.
The original idea for the trail dates to the late 1940s and is credited to Bill Klingner.