Angelina County working on trail network system

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Piney Woods of East Texas are something East Texans are proud of.

"It's a wave of the future. People are green, clean and safe and we have all that here, we just have a well kept secret," says Lufkin Mayor Jack Gorden.

After a year of planning, officials from all over Angelina County have been working toward a 'Green Infrastructure Plan,' which pairs conservation with preservation of the area's natural resources.

"The green infrastructure plan is a blueprint for potential future trails and parks and conservation areas within the county," says Julie Shackelford, the Texas Program Director for The Conservation Fund.

"Angelina County has many assets and what we would like to do is tie those trails to the existing local trails," Shackelford.

The trail project is a $35 million dollar plan headed by The Conservation Fund, a national organization, who helps communities be more appealing.

"A large trail system like this would be very desirable from a tourism standpoint. So as Angelina County positions themselves as a tourism destination, something like this is a real asset," says Shackelford.

The projected network of trails is a multi-million dollar plan, but would be paid for by grants.

"Many people take it for granted they are bordered by two national forests and two rivers.  They don't get that in Houston or Dallas. So what we are trying to do is make those places more accessible so people can come take advantage of those places," says Shackelford.