Press release from RiverLink:
In honor of its visionary founder, Karen Cragnolin, RiverLink will host a dedication celebration from 4-6 p.m. on August 25, officially opening a newly paved path linked to the French Broad River Greenway on each side. The community is invited to this free event. Parking is available at Carrier Park, with a drop-off for the mobility impaired at the Karen Cragnolin Park entrance at 190 Amboy Rd. The schedule of events includes:
- 4-5 p.m. – Complimentary Sno-cones, music buskers, street chalking, bubbles, games, temporary tattoos and more, all along the Karen Cragnolin Park greenway
- 5:00 – Performance by WomanSong
- 5:15 – Remarks from Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer; Buncombe County Commissioner, Al Whitesides; Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority CEO Vic Isley; Bob Cragnolin; RiverLink Board Member, Anne Keller; and RiverLink Executive Director, Lisa Raleigh.
- 5:45 – Ribbon cutting by Karen’s grandson
- 6 p.m. – Transition to after-party at Hi-Wire in the RAD with Connect Buncombe’s Brewing for Greenways event. Join Mark Cobb for a walk and conversation on the greenway!
In addition, a slide show celebrating Cragnolin’s life, additional entertainment, restrooms and beverages for purchase will be available at Wrong Way River Lodge and Cabins across the street from the park. Enjoy a dedication that’s been 20 years in the making, as a restored former brownfield joins the collection of parks along the French Broad, reinforcing the river’s status as an economic engine for our region.
“These types of projects enhance the quality of life for area residents and enrich visits for our guests,” said Vic Isley, CEO of Explore Asheville and the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. “We are delighted to support Karen Cragnolin’s vision and Riverlink’s dedication to enhance the economic viability of our natural systems and expand access to the French Broad River for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
After more than 17 years of environmental remediation behind a chain-link fence, the five-acre former auto junkyard will officially join the public greenway along the river. Additional details on this transformation is available at this link. With artful designs by renowned landscape architects at Nelson Byrd Woltz, educational signage will tell the story of the site’s history and remediation, highlighting the contributions of Karen Cragnolin, who championed inclusion in conserving a river for all. From the Native Americans who sustained their livelihoods along the river – to the African American communities who were marginalized as Asheville grew – to the ongoing contributions of nature herself – attractive signage will tell the stories that have shaped our shared community history.
RiverLink is honored to recognize major contributors and all supporters to this project.