New Belgium Brewing Co. executives will join with Buncombe County officials and other supporters Sept. 6 at the West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen (WALK) to celebrate the recent passing of the county’s greenways plan.
The plan eventually calls for building about 102 miles of paths across the county linking towns, parks, schools and other key sites. It was announced at the Sept. 4 commissioner meeting that New Belgium is donating $50,000 towards the greenways effort. The Colo–based brewery is building a $175 million production facility in Asheville and is planning to hire an estimated 154 workers.
“Greenways fully align with New Belgium’s goal to promote safe, non-motorized connectivity, and we’re glad to have the opportunity to advance the long-term sustainability, livability and economic development of Buncombe County in this way,” says Jenn Vervier, the company’s director of sustainability and strategic development. “I see these county-wide greenways as the great cathedrals of our time—an investment that will pay dividends for their communities for many generations.”
However, with a price tag estimated to total at least $39.3 million, the plan still faces major funding challenges.
In the meantime, Buncombe County planner Lucy Crown invites greenways supporters to join with Vervier and others to toast to the partnership with New Belgium this evening at WALK between 6 and 6:30 p.m. “Come buy a pint of your favorite beverage and raise it to all our good news!” she says.