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Updates and Events               September 2018
Greenway Updates
“Oklawaha” — The Florida Connection
The name “Oklawaha” is based on the Creek word "Ak-lowahe" which means “muddy” in the Creek language, according to Jennie Giles, who teaches local history at Blue Ridge Community College. The Creeks lived in northern Florida, where there is an Ocklawaha River. The term was first brought to Hendersonville around 1900 by real estate developers from Florida who used it in the names of some of their early businesses. The name Oklawaha was first applied to Mud Creek by Frank Fitzsimmons, a local storyteller who named his 1960s radio show “From the Banks of the Oklawaha.” He mistakenly popularized the myth that the name was of Cherokee, rather than Creek, origin.
New Bridge to Greenway over Mud Creek
Construction has begun on a pedestrian bridge that will cross Mud Creek near North Main Street. The bridge is part of a trail that will link Oklawaha Drive to the Greenway, and then go along North Main to connect with downtown sidewalks. The bridge is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
Proposed Kayak Dock for Greenway
A new small boat ramp on Mud Creek is being proposed for the Greenway. Skyhawk Reese-Julien is working on plans to build a kayak/canoe dock for his Eagle Scout project. If approved, his new dock under the Berkeley Road bridge would provide local paddlers with direct access to the French Broad River.
Greenway Brochures Available
New brochures about the importance of greenways to Henderson County are available through the Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway website. Use the Contact Us form under About the Friends. The brochures include a map of proposed greenways in the county and suggestions on how to support them. A pdf version of the brochure will be posted on our website shortly.
Schedule a Why Greenways? Presentation 
Sixteen groups have now seen the Why Greenways? presentation put together by the Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway. To schedule a presentation, please use the Contact Us form under About the Friends on our website.
New Wayfinder Signs
The Tourism Development Authority has installed attractive new blue signs to help people find their way around the county. Several of the new signs indicate access points along the Oklawaha Greenway.
Mills River Valley Trail
Planning continues for a new multi-use path from the intersection of Boylston Highway and Highway 191 near Mills River Restaurant north to the town line at the French Broad River near Westfeldt Park. The Mills River Town Council weighed several options provided by the public and voted unanimously to name the trail the Mills River Valley Trail.
Boardwalk to Patton Park to be Removed
Due to safety concerns the City of Hendersonville has decided to close and remove the old wooden boardwalk that runs next to the Greenway spur from the kiosk toward Patton Park. The timing of its removal will depend on the availability of funds to remove it. 
Upcoming Events on the Greenway
History Walk September 8th
Jennie Jones Giles, who teaches Henderson County History at Blue Ridge Community College, will lead a two-hour slow walk along the north end of the Greenway. It will begin at 10:00 at the old ball field in Berkeley Mills Park, which was recently named a national historic site. All are welcome to this event sponsored by the Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway. Bring drinking water and wear confortable shoes.
Rain date: September 15th at 10:00.

Oktoberfest Volksmarch September 22nd
On September 22 the Oklawaha Greenway’s Inaugural Oktoberfest 5K Volksmarch will be held in conjunction with Southern Appalachian Brewery's annual Oktoberfest. The group walk will begin at the brewery between 11:30 – 11:45 and then meander through the Historic 7th Avenue District and onto the Oklawaha Greenway. The pace will be slow to moderate and children and leashed pets are welcome. The Volksmarch will culminate at Southern Appalachian Brewery just before 1:00 when the gates open for a beer and brat. Registration will be from 11:00 – 11:30 with a $6 cash donation collected to benefit the Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway. Your receipt allows you Free Admission to the Oktoberfest Festival from 1:00 to 6:00. 
      The walk organizers assume no liability and all participants walk at their own risk. This walk is not sanctioned by nor affiliated with any local, national or international Volkssport club or association.
Conserving Carolina Greenway Clean-up October 3rd
Conserving Carolina will clean up a one-mile section of the Greenway on October 3rd from noon – 2:00 pm. All necessary tools (trash bags, gloves and pickers) will be provided but volunteers should bring their own drinking water. Meet at the Oklawaha Greenway trailhead across from Berkeley Mills Park on Balfour Road. Please contact to sign up as a volunteer. 
MountainTrue Invasive Species Removal October 23rd
MountainTrue will work with the Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway to remove invasive plants from the Greenway on Tuesday, October 23rd from 9:00 am to noon. Please contact to sign up as a volunteer. We will meet near the skate park at Patton Park, 1730 Asheville Highway, Hendersonville. Bring water and snacks for yourself. All necessary tools and protective equipment will be provided.
Meet a Friend of the Greenway
Katie Breckeimer is a founding member of the Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway. A native North Carolinian, she has a long, deep interest in the environment. After getting her degree in Environmental Education she went on to play key leadership roles in local environmental groups including ECO and MountainTrue. She currently serves on the Countys Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
     Although Katie lives in Saluda, she and her husband Steve often use the Greenway. Katie is interested in greenways because they connect people to places without involving cars. She likes the fact that greenways help people get the exercise they need, connect with others, and enjoy the outdoors in a fun and safe way. Katie notes that the Oklawaha Greenway is also a great place for environmental education because it protects a variety of eco-systems just minutes away from downtown Hendersonville.
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Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway · c/o MountainTrue · 121 Third Avenue West, Suite #1 · Hendersonville, NC 28792 · USA

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