RiverLink has its eye on a new portion of land to add to its greenway. From RiverLink’s newsletter:
With the UNC Asheville Foundation purchase of what was planned to be the new Health Adventure site comes an opportunity to expand Asheville’s greenway system. The 8.9-acre site adjoins the existing Reed Creek Greenway, paralleling Broadway, and will help connect the UNCA campus to the French Broad River and downtown, offering students an opportunity to safely bike or walk from campus.
UNC Asheville is working with local non-profit RiverLink. The RiverLink board has committed to raise funds for completion of this greenway segment. RiverLink will be working with UNCA and the Montford Community to gain input on this new exciting new link in the greenway system.
“RiverLink is excited about the opportunity to partner with UNC Asheville and the community to develop a greenway along this property, with an eye to eventually expanding and linking the UNC Asheville campus to the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay along the French Broad River and downtown,” said Karen Cragnolin, RiverLink executive director.
TD Bank purchased the abandoned parcel that was to be the Health Adventure at foreclosure auction last October. The Health Adventure had planned a $25 million science museum for children, but ran short of funds, filing for bankruptcy in March 2011. TD Bank sold the property in mid-December to the UNC Asheville Foundation, who raised the money without the aid of student fees or state funds.
The Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan is a 17-mile greenway linking the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers into a 17-mile continuous greenway with separate walking and biking trails anchored on the south at the NC Arboretum and on the east by the Blue Ridge Parkway and on the north by UNCA. Adopted by the City of Asheville and Buncombe County, the plan was the brainchild of RiverLink, a regional non-profit spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River and its tributaries as a place to live, work and play.
More background from Mark Barrett and the Asheville Citizen-Times on the UNCA foundation purchase here.
Does River Link have any statistics on the number of people who use the Greenway? I walk frequently on the greenway between Merrimon and W.T.Weaver, which is, I believe, maintained by UNCA, and I rarely see anyone else. I certainly don’t see UNCA students using it. How much usage does it get?