Friends of Connect Buncombe seek funds for greenway

The Friends of Connect Buncombe have raised nearly half the $20,000 needed to help study the proposal to build a new greenway, the Asheville Citizen-Times  reported on July 5.  According to the group’s fundraising website, the new route would connect “the French Broad River Greenway to the Farmer’s Market, [N.C.] Arboretum and Bent Creek trails and Biltmore Park” —

Imagine being able to someday safely walk or bike from Asheville to the NC Arboretum and onto Biltmore Park or vice versa. One of the eight priority corridors identified in the Buncombe County Greenways and Trails Master Plan is the corridor between the French Broad River and Hominy Creek Greenways, along Brevard Road, past the WNC Famer’s Market, out to the hiking and biking trails of Bent Creek and the Arboretum, and Biltmore Park.

The first step in making this a reality is a feasiblity study.  Buncombe County has partnered with Friends of Connect Buncombe and will apply for a grant to complete a study of the entire corridor for greenways and trails.
Mark Barrett of the Citizen-Times reports:

The group — founded to promote implementation of the county’s greenway plan — chose the segment paralleling Interstate 26 and Brevard Road because, “It would actually be a corridor that would be more likely and feasible to happen,” said Suzanne Molloy, the organization’s vice president.

When or whether the county might fund actual construction of a greenway is difficult to say. The capital projects plan County Manager Wanda Greene submitted as part of her proposed 2014-15 county budget calls for spending $1 million in 2017-18 on the greenway. …

What the friends group is calling a “crowdfunding” campaign — most of the effort is being done online — is to be completed by July 31. Proceeds will be used as matching funds to seek a federal grant that would result in a total of $90,000 to $100,000 to fund planning for the greenway.

“We want to show that the community is in support of this,” Molloy said. More than $9,000 has been raised so far.

The greenway would start at the county’s Hominy Creek River Park in West Asheville, which is the southern terminus of the city of Asheville’s network of greenways along the French Broad River. … — from the Asheville Citizen-Times

For more about the group’s fundraising efforts and plans, go to http://weconnectbuncombe.org/campaign.


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