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$200,000 Buys Name for Trails
Mount Holly sells naming rights to its greenway system

Charlotte Observer
Staff Writer

MOUNT HOLLY - The city that wants to be laced with parks took another step toward realizing that vision Thursday night, but at an unusual price.

Mount Holly will name a planned citywide trail system The Dickson Foundation/A&E Greenway System in exchange for $200,000. Signs and maps will carry the branded name.

The donors are American & Efird, a textile firm that is the city's historically dominant employer, and the personal foundation of Thomas Dickson, president of the holding company that owns A&E.

"We're very proud to be involved with this project," Dickson said. "It's a key part of turning Mount Holly into one of the more unique communities in the Charlotte area."

The money, pledged over five years, will cover 40 percent of the cost to build an initial eight miles of trails along the Catawba River and three tributary creeks.

The city plans to eventually build 20 miles of trails along the waterways, along with several parks and a footbridge connecting to the proposed National Whitewater Center across the river in Mecklenburg County. The greenspace plan is the centerpiece of Mount Holly's economic development efforts.

"This gives the vision process a lot of momentum," said Mount Holly Mayor Bryan Hough. "It's an awfully gracious partnership that we have with the Dixon Foundation."

The naming gift, which will fund the construction of paths on acquired land, was announced Thursday night by the Mount Holly Community Development Foundation. The private group is raising money for a variety of civic improvement projects, including the greenway system, downtown refurbishment and business recruitment.

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