ASHEVILLE – On a not-so-cold January day, Emily Eldridge was walking with a smile along the French Broad River Greenway, a place she comes “almost every day — I would say at least every other day.”
It’s the access to the river that’s special to her. The West Asheville resident said she also likes to watch the dogs frolic at the dog park, a place she used to take her own dog before her pet died.
She wishes, though, that the greenway system was bigger and linked together better like the networks of trails she’s experienced in Portland, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado. That’s why Eldridge said she voted for a recent city bond that includes $4.7 million in property taxpayer funding to build more of the paved paths.
The money will add to an already unprecedented surge in greenway plans paid for by federal, city and other money. There are more than 16 miles being built and planned at an estimated $24 million.
To put it in perspective, in the three decades before 2015, less than 5 miles of greenways were built, with little connection between the systems.
“It’s exciting,” Eldridge said. “It’s really exciting. I’ve lived here about 12 years, and I’m impressed.”
The governments of Buncombe County and Woodfin also have the greenway bug and are looking to link to and expand on the city system.
But there are a few who are less excited about current plans, including property owners who are set to lose land and others concerned with effects on trees and forests.
One half-mile section next to New Belgium Brewing is complete, but the city is updating construction schedules. It’s facing a ticking clock of rising building costs that might mean more pressure on city taxpayers.
Scientific Name: Alternanthera philoxeroides A native of South America, alligatorweed was inadvertently introduced to Southeastern U.S. in the late 1800s. Its white flowers are clover-like and bloom a summer. Most commonly found floating in mats along the water’s edge, alligatorweed also grows immersed and even terrestrially. Its opposing leaves are lance shaped, 1-2 inches long, […]
Do you know where the water that flows into a storm drain goes? This water does not go to a treatment plant but flows directly into our streams, lakes, and rivers. Many people poor oil, paint, yard waste, and other pollutants into the storm drain because they think the water will be treated before […]
RiverLink and MountainTrue have developed informational kiosks for each river access point along the French Broad River Paddle Trail with a grant from the North Carolina Recreational Trails Program. Each kiosk focuses on historical and natural features of the river, as well as paddle trail information including maps and boater resources. These kiosks aid users and […]