RiverLink is recruiting individuals and groups to help maintain its system of greenways through a new Adopt-a-Greenway program. The initiative encourages scouting organizations, civic associations, school and church groups, nature clubs, and businesses seeking community service opportunities to adopt a section of greenway and keep it clear of weeds, sticks, rocks, and other debris for a two-year period.
Asheville has about 4.5 miles of contiguous greenways for the enjoyment of area residents and visitors, with more yet to come. These trails offer a wide array of scenic and recreational opportunities, including trails for walking, jogging, biking, rollerblading, etc., watercraft put-ins, picnic shelters, the Carrier Park bike track, grassy areas for recreation and relaxation, a dog park, and more.
Thousands of area residents enjoy the greenways each year, whether on foot, skates, or bicycle, so they must be maintained if they are to remain clean and safe. The City of Asheville provides normal maintenance, but volunteers are needed to provide the extra attention that makes our greenways more attractive.
RiverLink has always been a pioneer of Asheville's greenway system. In 1994, French Broad River Park, the first section of the 17-mile Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan, opened to much fanfare. In 1999, a new section of greenway with a handicapped accessible fishing pier was installed overlooking the French Broad River. The greenway trail was also extended along the French Broad River next to Amboy Road. RiverLink purchased the old Asheville Motor Speedway in 1999 and developed it into the most-used recreational facility in Asheville. In 2007, RiverLink purchased the Edaco junkyard on Amboy Road, and upon completion of soil testing and phytoremediation, which uses plants to leach pollutants from the soil, it will open to visitors as well. RiverLink is now expanding its greenway efforts to the downtown or east side of the river with its new Sculpture and Performance Plaza on Riverside Drive, purchased in 2009, and its purchases of the land on either side of the Pearson Bridge.
Nearly two miles of trail are available for adoption - from Hominy Creek Park east to Carrier Park, and from Karen Cragnolin Park to French Broad River Park along Amboy Road. To adopt a greenway, the group or individual must agree to pick up litter, debris and loose brush at least two times a year in the adopted section.
RiverLink will provide trash bags, gloves, safety vests, shovels, rakes, and free pick-up of the collected trash. Anyone with an interest in trails and nature is encouraged to participate and help provide safe, enjoyable access to the outdoors.
Contact RiverLink's Worth McAlister at 252-8474, ext. 17 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on taking part in this new program.