When it comes to the natural beauty of The Tribute, there isn’t much in comparison. In order to make that beauty even more accessible to Tribute residents, there’s an unusual amount of collaboration involved.
For the Shoreline Nature Trail, which is comprised of three phases starting with the opening of the first segment in 2013 from the trailhead near the Old American Clubhouse down to the tip of the peninsula, the process starts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of The Colony. The Corps deems what it is willing to accept on wildlife-managed land, and the City assists with the coordination of the public project along with its partnership with Matthews Southwest.
JBI Partners, the trail designer selected for all three phase of the trail, studied current site conditions, the flora and fauna, natural view sheds and possible hazards. Once all the field data was gathered, they examined various route options. Care was taken during the planning process to minimize disturbance to the native vegetation and to protect large tree stands. The selected route was reviewed by Matthews Southwest and construction documents were then submitted to the City of The Colony and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for review to ensure the trail layout met all City and Corps guidelines and regulations.
“We truly appreciate the interest and care that the City, the Corps, JBI and our contractor have taken in the development of the Shoreline Nature Trail,” said Kathy Cunningham, Vice President at Matthews Southwest. “The City and Corps have been very supportive of our plans to develop an extraordinary trail system at The Tribute. JBI and RLM EarthCo, our contractor, have thoughtfully executed Phase 3. Everyone involved has been a dedicated collaborator who understands the importance of both sharing and protecting the natural environment around the lake.”
Each phase of the trail provides a unique user experience. Although they all share some common site amenities, they all have one or two items that set them apart. Phase 1 incorporates a shared cart path and interpretive signs educating the user on the surrounding habitat. Phase 2 offers a shade structure overlook area and kayak launch with both filtered and open views to the lake.
With the recent opening of Phase 3 of the Shoreline Nature Trail – located behind The Glen Phase 1 village – this phase offers a half mile long trail with wide open views to the lake and an important component to once again add to the beauty and improve accessibility. An attractive and functional bridge completes the transition between Phase 2 and Phase 3, allowing trail users easy access over the canal to continue their nature journey.
The 143’ PermaTrack bridge was constructed with an overall goal of providing access to the overlook and kayak launch as well as providing continuous trail access along the eastern portion of the development. The railing on the bridge allows users an area to stop and enjoy the views of the lake as well as the pond in the channel.
“With all three phases of the trail, we wanted to take advantage of the natural beauty of the area and provide an environmentally friendly design that allows for various usages whether it’s a morning jog, an evening stroll by the lake, or just getting closer with nature,” said Ruben Graciano, JBI Partners.