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Strive Not to Drive

Strive Not to Drive is an annual event held in May each year. For one week, May 21-25, the organizers are asking us to take a look at how well our infrastructure supports the non-driver. Greenways can play an important part in our transportation needs by connecting the places we want to go with an off-road option. This year, Strive Not to Drive asks us to get out of our cars and bike, walk, take the bus, carpool, or telecommute. Coming soon, the Strive website (strivenottodrive.com) will go live for you to participate and make a pledge!  

Thank You!
A big shout out to the City of Hendersonville's 
Public Works Department for keeping our greenway clean and beautiful.
Clear Creek Greenway Ready for Use by Early 2025

All the pieces are now in place for the City of Hendersonville to complete the Clear Creek Greenway, which will connect to the Oklawaha Greenway near Berkeley Mills Park. A grant from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and a Water Resources Development Grant have now been finalized. The first tranche of Federal funds will be available in October, 2021 for design and engineering studies, followed by additional funds in 2022 for final easement acquisitions. This will allow construction to start in October, 2023, with completion expected the following year.   

The Pollinator Trail

Hendersonville’s Bee City designation has just gotten even more exciting with the announcement of its Pollinator Trail. The trail includes a multitude of places to go and enjoy our valuable winged friends, including the Oklawaha Greenway. Two large pollinator meadows are planted along the greenway: one tract planted in 2014 and another in 2020. In addition, several pocket meadows are located trailside. All are marked with informational signs. To find more pollinator locations in Henderson County, look on Bee City’s Pollinator Trail website: https://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/pollinator-trail

How About Fixing the Flooded Part of the Greenway?

On February 17th, the Henderson County Commissioners addressed the continually flooded area of the Oklawaha near Jackson Park. County Engineer, Marcus Jones, spoke about the myriad of fixes they had considered in the past. As part of a larger greenway feasibility study a few years earlier, an analysis had been done, but there was a high-end price estimate attached to the fix. After the discussion, the commissioners agreed that the fix was a priority, and allocated $15,000 for another deep dive to look at it. With a good study in hand they felt they would be in a better position to find grant money to pay for the improvement project - most likely a boardwalk. Thank you to everyone who wrote letters encouraging them to take action on it.


Boys & Girls Club Members Help Clear Invasive Plants on Greenway

The Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County joined Conserving Carolina’s AmeriCorps members on Tuesday, April 6th to help clear out invasive multiflora rose on a section of the Oklawaha Greenway that is in the Club’s backyard. Even with a small group of only four middle schoolers, they were able to remove three large piles worth of the invasive multiflora and collect a bag of trash as well. It was a beautiful day and we hope to plan another service day out on the Oklawaha Greenway soon!


UPDATE: Greenway Memorial Garden

All but one of the flowering shrubs planted last fall in the Burlingame Memorial Garden survived the winter and recent floods. Spring and summer flowers should be blooming soon around the Greenway's Red Kiosk. If you would like to help plant native perennials this spring contact:  webmaster@FriendsOfOklawaha.org

Oklawaha Greenway Northern and Southern Extension Feasibility Study

Henderson County hired a consultant to draft a feasibility study of the extension of the current Oklawaha Greenway. The study looks at multiple routes that could be proposed in the future so greenway users can travel north to the County's Westfeldt Park and south to Blue Ridge Community College. This feasibility study has not been formally adopted by the Board of Commissioners but is used by the Planning Department when considering future greenway connections within the County. You can download the study here:

https://www.hendersoncountync.gov/greenway-network/page/feasibility-studies

Celebrate Earth Day All Month Long

Earth Day is being celebrated throughout the entire month of April by coming together to act locally and think globally. This year, local community and environmental groups have teamed up to offer a myriad of virtual and socially distanced service opportunities, workshops, educational events, and celebrations. All of these opportunities to connect with your environment have been collected into an interactive bingo card for you to explore. Make sure to track any activities you engage with, and for every row or column of activities that you complete you can be entered to win a swag bag from the participating environmental groups! Get involved here: https://wncfortheplanet.org/

June 27th Triathlon on the Oklawaha Greenway 

The 2nd Annual Hendersonville Triathlon will start at 7:00 am on Sunday, June 27th in Hendersonville's Patton Park. The event consists of a 400m pool swim, a 12.5 mile bike ride and a 5k run on the Oklawaha Greenway. Last year's Triathlon attracted over 100 participants from across the state. For further details see
https://idaph.net/events_calendar/hendersonville-triathlon-2021/

Black Bear Half Marathon on Saturday, October 9th

The second annual Black Bear Half Marathon will be held again on the Oklawaha Greenway. Last year's event attracted over 150 runners from across the country.   
Further details:
  https://idaph.net/black-bear-half-marathon/
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