With funding lagging for some of Asheville’s shovel-ready greenway projects, a local organization has stepped in to help get one in the road, so to speak.
In April, students from the Green Opportunities Landscaping and Maintenance program will work in partnership with the City of Asheville to build a temporary trail on a portion of the Town Branch Greenway. The project is made possible with a $5,000 grant from New Belgium Brewing Co., $2,400 from the City Transportation Department and a $10,000 grant from Mountain Area Workforce Development (MAWD).
The idea is to craft a natural surface path on a portion of the planned greenway that runs behind the Grant Southside Center and Asheville Fire Station No. 2. The outcome will be a 1,000-foot-long portion of trail running between Depot Street and South French Broad Avenue. The trail will be made of a surface of “granite screenings” which is a very fine gravel the consistency of sand but more stable and compatible. The gravel trail will be 6 feet wide. It will be suitable for walking or cycling.
The City’s Streets Division will assist in hauling gravel and helping to install silt fencing along the creek to minimize erosion during construction. “I want to make the most of this educational opportunity,” said Public Works Director Greg Shuler.
“This is a community driven project,” said City Greenway Coordinator Lucy Crown. “It’s an example of what we’d like to see more of in our greenway initiatives.”
So be on the lookout for students and City workers as they collaborate on this project. We’ll have signage up too. Later on, we’ll announce a ribbon cutting for the community to celebrate the trail’s completion.