Lions celebrate beautification of Tweetsie Trail

John Thompson • May 10, 2018 at 10:11 PM

ELIZABETHTON — One group of Lions heading east and another group of Lions heading west met each other at high noon on Thursday to celebrate the most beautiful spot on the Tweetsie Trail.

The groups of Lions were the Johnson City Lions Club and the Elizabethton Lions Club. They met at the Milligan Depot, a popular resting spot on the trail where walkers and bikers can take in a vista that includes a glimpse of Milligan College, a swath of Happy Valley and the Appalachian Mountains with the North Carolina-Tennessee border in the distance.

“Its the prettiest spot on the trail, as well as one of the most historic, and now will be even better, said Ken Gough, a member and past president of the Johnson City Lions Club and chairman of the Carter County Parks and Recreation Board.

The two Lions Clubs were joined by city officials from Johnson City, including City Manager Pete Peterson, Public Works Drector Phil Pindzola and City Forester Pat Walding.

The gathering was in celebration of what happened nearly a year ago, when the Johnson City Lions Club accepted a challenge from the Elizabethton club to help improve the Tweetsie Trail. “We were delighted to take this on as a joint project,” Gough said.

Walding designated a 2,000-square-foot area, which was built and planted by the Johnson City Public Works staff. Plants, including flowering and evergreen trees and shrubs, were purchased by the Lions Club members.

“We kept everything low-growing so not to obstruct the view,” Walding said.

“Since the Tweetsie Trail was conceived from the beginning as a way to link Elizabethton and Johnson City, the cities’ Lions Clubs are very proud to cooperate in making it an even better and more beautiful experience,” Gough said.

Ed Jordan, whose Carter County Proud organization has walked the trail recently to pick up litter, also attended the event to admire the beautiful and clean location.