Now that two disjointed lengths south and north of Raider Drive have been connected with the completion of Phase 5 last spring, the number of festivities undoubtedly will continue to grow. And, that’s a “good.”
It’s a good for a hometown that prides itself on growth and increased diversity.
It’s a good for our families who are relearning the joy of life together in the outdoors, away from TVs, computers, video games and couches.
It’s a good for health and fitness enthusiasts who for years have longed for a common locale that is safe to use, free of charge and requires no interaction with heavily trafficked intersections, complicated traffic signals and roadside fumes from passing vehicles.
It’s a good for individuals whose means of transportation is limited; for these persons, the Greenway now serves as a vital pedestrian and cycling connector from points as far north as Mohawk Drive to streets and neighborhoods as far south as our bustling downtown.
It’s a good for our thousands of overnight visitors each year, many of whom always bring along their running shoes just in case their hotel is in close proximity to a school or community track, modern sidewalks or ... Greenway!
It’s a good for economic development and business recruitment. In the eyes of those looking for a new home for their family or business, amenities like the Greenway add greatly to the sales pitch that is making our community more of a destination and not just a temporary stop-off.
It’s a good for anyone and everyone, and those of all ages who love the outdoors and relish the opportunity to breathe fresh air and soak in a few comforting rays.
Of the many functions and people uses the Greenway has hosted over the years, all have benefited a group, a cause or a community need ... but not the Greenway, per se.
That’s about to change. On Saturday, the Greenway for the first time will sponsor its own sanctioned event. Planners call it “Chalk the Walk,” and it is a fundraiser for the Greenway Public Arts Committee whose members are charged with the responsibility of bringing art and a touch of culture to the popular linear park.
“Chalk the Walk” will take place along the Greenway stretch from the People for Care & Learning playground near the former First Tennessee Bank building to Raider Drive — the same site that holds the fitness trail’s first public art exhibit, the big yellow chair called “Sitting Tall.”
Here’s how it works. Artists of all ages and talent levels will be allowed a 5-foot by 5-foot block of the Greenway’s concrete canvas. For a mere $10 fee, these wild imaginations will be asked to draw their own colorful creations using chalk. The chalk will be furnished or artists can bring their own.
“Chalk the Walk” will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The art work can begin immediately after registration at 10 a.m., and artists will have until 2 p.m. to finish, at which time judging will begin. Prize money and gifts will be awarded for “Best in Show,” “Judge’s Choice Award,” “People’s Choice Award” and others.
Event proceeds will help to establish a master plan for displaying permanent and temporary works of art in the public sector, as well as grants and scholarships to attract local artists for exhibits to be enjoyed by the community.
For more information or to reserve a spot, send an email to GPAC’s Joe McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Chalk the Walk” is a splendid opportunity to add an even finer family feel to the already user-friendly Greenway.
And for any who might question allowing such “graffiti” on this beautiful attraction?
Not to worry. Mother Nature will take care of the cleanup.