From UNCA News Services:
Plans to complete Phase III of the Reed Creek Greenway through property owned by the UNC Asheville Foundation on Broadway Avenue are one step closer to implementation. Recently, the UNC Asheville Foundation received approval of its 2013 Federal Recreational Trails Program grant of $200,000 administered by the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation. The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has approved the grant and once other environmental, archeological and regulatory reviews are completed, the grant can be awarded.
The project will fill in a missing link in the Reed Creek Greenway connecting UNC Asheville and Montford with downtown, enabling students and community residents to walk and bike along the creek, removed from traffic on nearby Broadway Avenue. The work to be done includes landscaping, erosion control, grading, storm drainage and construction of a retaining wall and asphalt path.
“This project has united the university, our students and staff, community residents and environmental activists,” said John Pierce, treasurer of the UNC Asheville Foundation. “Our students decided to increase their own fees to help pay for the work, and the City of Asheville and RiverLink have partnered significantly in the fundraising for the project. Montford neighbors, as well, have chipped in with financial contributions and hard work to clean up the property.”
The UNC Asheville Foundation began the process by purchasing the 10-acre land parcel at 525 Broadway Avenue. The UNC Asheville Foundation, the City of Asheville and RiverLink then agreed to raise considerable funds and provide crucial advocacy for the project.
“We have worked long and hard for greenway and park development along the area’s rivers and streams,” said Karen Cragnolin, executive director of RiverLink. “Environmental and economic revitalization of the watershed can go hand in hand. Greenways promote both.”
The City of Asheville has been dedicated to the development of greenways since the 1990s with work being driven by the Asheville Master Plan for Greenways which was adopted in 1998. “This greenway will be a great addition to the city’s multi-modal transportation network,” said Roderick Simmons, Asheville director of Parks and Recreation. “We are really pleased to work together with our community partners to move this project forward.”
Through a series of clean-up days, UNC Asheville students, faculty, staff and community members have joined together to spruce up the property, planting trees and shrubs, and clearing away garbage and invasive vines. This fall, larger scale work will begin, with hopes of completing this section of the greenway no later than the spring of 2014.