This month the Cleveland Daily Banner is publishing special Tuesday editions called Benchmark 2020, which is all about charting the “progress” of our community, the annual edition’s former name.
This is a perfect time to chart the progress of our Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.
An example of the progress that has been experienced by the greenway over the last few months is illustrated by a growing agenda that will be awaiting the greenway board on Thursday, Feb. 20. The board is made up of volunteer appointees from the city, county, Chamber of Commerce and Cleveland Utilities. They meet monthly to address greenway issues and offer advice on priorities.
The first item will be discussion of the $59,000 grant that was awarded earlier this month from the Bradley County Healthy Community Initiative. Decisions will need to be made on a timeline, logistics, site management and reporting in renovating the Dobbs-Ford bridge on the future Candies Creek Greenway.
The board will discuss the Jan. 23 Greenway Vision 2020 event and how to maximize its success. It was a great turnout that generated momentum and lots of goodwill among the nearly 200 who enjoyed the evening.
One of the outcomes of that evening was the successful “Ducks In A Row” campaign that generated 20 groups or individuals who paid $2,500 to sponsor one of the coming art attractions. The board will hear an update from members of the Greenway Public Arts Committee (GPAC), a subcommittee of the board who will supervise the ordering of ducks, coordination with artists, and placement on the greenway. Like the greenway board, GPAC is all volunteers.
Another agenda item will be a report on progress of meetings with property owners along a stretch of Fillauer Branch being eyed as a connector with the greenway. Positive feedback has been received on an extension of the greenway that would connect from the corner of North Ocoee and Ocoee Crossing (terminus of the Casteel Connector) to where the Spring Creek spur emerges from under 25th Street. Surveys of the potential path are forthcoming.
The board will be discussing the overflow use of the Mohawk Drive trailhead. On any given day, especially if the weather is beautiful, the parking area is jammed and vehicles are ending up on Mohawk Drive, a road with no space for parked cars. While it’s a nice problem to have, the trailhead is in dire need of expansion.
While not the final agenda item for the meeting, the board will hear a report about the “sooner-rather-than-later” work that will begin on a Mouse Creek mitigation project in Charleston. Wright Bros. construction will be improving a 1.42-mile section of the creek and the potential for a greenway there as a result. Most of the preliminary work is complete and earth should be moving on the mitigation later this year.
Much thanks to the city staff that assists in making the decisions of the board and GPAC come to fruition. The future of that assistance will continue to be needed from them and others as the greenway — literally — goes north, south, east and west!