Build the Hanna City Trail!

Peoria County, Fulton County, Hanna City, and Farmington Representatives

Photo of Potential Hanna City Trail Use

What's the Project?

Friends, we need your help, this is our last opportunity to secure 25 new miles of trail stretching from the Kickapoo Creek to Farmington and rural Fulton County. Before 1980 this hidden gem, the corridor currently called the Hanna City Trail, was used as a railway by the Union Pacific Railroad. Since then it has been inactive, now needing special care and dedicated local champions to become a productive regional asset.

Map showing existing Rock Island Trail, proposed Hannah City Trail, and proposed Yates City Trail

We know the Hanna City Trail will be an invaluable asset by simply looking to the northeast of Peoria County at the impact the Rock Island Greenway has made in our region. Back in 2013, an estimated 17,000 people used the Rock Island Greenway in a year, with a third of those trail users spending money at businesses in the communities along the Rock Island Trail. In the last several years  the usage of the Rock Island Greenway has exponentially increased and spurred millions in new private development in the communities along it's length; to say nothing of the newfound importance of quality public space on public health and well being.

What's at Stake?

For 20 years, stakeholders across several municipalities have fought passionately to purchase the land to develop and maintain it as a trail, but there have been several roadblocks in purchasing the railroad corridor.  In 2010 their first federal grant application was denied.  The stakeholders persevered and tried again.  In 2015 they were successful and awarded a $750,000 transportation grant.  Unfortunately, because there was no State budget for over two years, the money could not be spent and was returned. The appraisal of the property has increased and the current grant application is for over 2 million dollars.

Earlier this year, Tri-Country Regional Planning Commission has applied for another federal grant in hopes to help purchase this rail corridor. If the grant is awarded later this year, there would be a potential local match of nearly $420,000 that would be shared equitably between the communities the trail crosses. This is our last chance to purchase and secure this property for the public interest! In April of 2021 this window will close for good and the land will be split up and sold to private owners, after which there is no hope of piecing it back together. After decades of hope and community efforts, this is truly the last chance to act.

What am I Signing on to?

By signing this petition you are helping us demonstrate that quality public space matters to everyone in our region and encouraging the governmental bodies along the proposed Hanna City Trail to charter an 'Intergovernmental Agreement' that will ensure equitable cost-sharing  and collective action in fundraising and negotiating with Union Pacific to ultimately purchase, improve, and maintain the Hanna City Trail as a public asset into perpetuity.

To: Peoria County, Fulton County, Hanna City, and Farmington Representatives
From: [Your Name]

We, the undersigned are encouraging your board's full support in entering into an intergovernmental agreement to secure funding and negotiate with Union Pacific to pursue the acquisition, improvement, and maintenance of the proposed Hanna City Trail as a public asset for our region's citizens to use.

Quality public space is a hallmark of resilient and strong communities. Space for families to play, individuals to exercise, businesses to connect with customers, and to preserve the natural world form the fabric of our communities. Further, multi-use trails are pennies on the dollar cheaper to construct and maintain compared to vehicle roadways while offering more co-benefits that boost property values and public health. These facts are not up for debate.

As a citizen and community member of Central Illinois, I value our ability to come together to achieve incredible things. this is our last opportunity to secure an incredible public asset for generations to come, if we fail to meet this moment, it will be lost forever.

Thank you for service and for your consideration of supporting an intergovernmental agreement to ensure we can build the Hanna City Trail!

-Trail Advocates of Central Illinois