Who doesn’t love a greenway!? Exactly. Well good, because Asheville is finally getting the financial injection it so richly deserves to elongate and improve our current greenway levels. Specifically, there is a $17M greenway building boom planned for Asheville!
“There’s no doubt, people love greenways. The “linear parks,” as they are sometimes called, rank as a top priority in resident surveys and in public comments. But considering the popularity of the paths, efforts to build them have been anemic. Since efforts began in the 1980s, around $4 million has been spent to build 4.6 miles of greenways, most lacking connections to each other. Now an estimated $17 million infusion of federal and local tax money — and years of planning by greenway advocates — is set to change that.”
-Joel Burgess / Citizen Times
- Over the next three-and-a-half years, Asheville has plans to build more greenways than the city has in last three decades, according to figures compiled by the city. The new 7.4 miles represents a 162 percent increase in mileage and, if carried out, will give greenway users an unbroken connection from Beaucatcher Mountain to the Asheville Botanical Gardens and the French Broad River.
- Asheville and Buncombe County government in recent weeks helped move forward three planned paths for pedestrians and cyclists: the Hominy Creek Greenway, one near the Sierra Nevada brewery in Mills River and one connecting West Asheville to the farmers market and Asheville Outlet Mall.
- On Jan. 26, the City Council voted to give up building rights on 17 acres of Asheville Regional Airport property. The nonprofit Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy offered to buy the conservation easement for $107,000. The city will use the money to fund airport activities.
- That trail system would run through the Mills River production facility owned by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, according to a map provided by the land conservancy.
“Plans for a greenway along the Swannanoa River are set to advance after a $37,000 donation to the city.”
-Joel Burgess / Citizen Times
- Asheville Parks and Greenway Foundation and Friends of Connect Buncombe, are giving $37,000 to the city for a feasibility study on the East Asheville greenway.
- The new greenway section would extend an existing 0.4-mile piece of the Swannanoa River Greenway near Walmart. The new section would stretch east to the WNC Nature Center, John B. Lewis Soccer Complex and Recreation Park. There would also be connections to Highland Brewing and River Bend Shopping Center.
- Private and public grants for greenway construction often depend on first having a plan in place for the path. With planning, engineering and construction, a typical greenway costs about $1 million a mile. Asheville’s greenway links often cost more than twice that because of hilly terrain, narrow passages and other constraints.
- Highland Brewing made a multiyear commitment to take up the cause and help coordinate efforts with other organizations such as Catawba Brewing and Friends of Connect Buncombe.