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Talk About It Tuesday – Cornelius Greenways

Talk About It Tuesday – Cornelius Greenways

Thank you for joining me for episode 15 of Talk About It Tuesday.

Today I’m going to talk with Scott Higgins of the Cornelius PARC Department about the various Greenway projects going on in and around Cornelius.

Donna: So Scott, what is the PARC Dept?

Scott: PARC Dept is Park, Arts, Recreation and Culture. Some people say Park thinking it’s just all about Parks only, but actually it’s much more than that. The PARC department is a group that looks after 9 parks that we have here in Cornelius.

And we have a lot of fields. We have more fields than any Park Department, more than any town our size in the whole of North Carolina, just as we are building more Greenways, more than any other town our size in North Carolina.

Donna: What is your position with the PARC Department?
Scott: I am Chair of the PARC commission. There are nine Commissioners chosen throughout the community. This is my fifth year as chair and I hope to have a couple more.

Donna: You enjoy it.
Scott: I love it. I’m passionate about our Parks. It’s all about the quality life for Cornelius. You see a lot going on with improvement of roads,
which is great, see a lot of economic development, but the folks that move here with their families, retired folks and others, love the Greenways.
I visit all the Greenways on my bicycle once a month or so kind of checking out & seeing what we can do. I talk to people – you saw me just talk with that gentleman there – to try to find out what what we need, what we need more of, what we need less of in terms of Greenways.

Donna: For people who don’t know, which I didn’t know when I moved here, what’s a Greenway, and why are they important?
Scott: Well they are called a number of different things, you have a pathway, sometimes they’re called Greenway, or a walkway, or it could be a 10-foot wide sidewalk or whatever it is. There’s different names for them.
It’s about connectivity. It’s a way to connect places for the residents that live there, to connect amenities.
It’s a way to get out in nature as we see here.
It’s solace and peaceful nature.
It’s part of an exercise program.
Health is a big benefit, huge benefit.

Donna: There are more Greenways coming to Cornelius that I know you’re working on. Some in the works now and some for the future. So tell us about the ones that you’re working on now.
Scott: We’re working on the Antiquity Greenway now, which is a .5 or .6 mile Greenway with a big 300-foot boardwalk that comes right off of Zion Street. It is American Disabilities Act ADA approved. It will go down to a Greenway which will angle along & will join up with the North Fork Greenway, which is in Davidson – people say the Davidson Greenway. It will go under the covered bridge in Antiquity and then will also go up on the sidewalk.

Then Davidson has built a new park up there and we’re putting a Greenway that will come off that park area and go all the way up beside Avery Creek up to to Bailey Road near the high school.

All this is part of a plan that we have we call the Emerald Necklace. It’s 13 plus miles of Greenways that are going to go around Cornelius and hopefully connect all of Cornelius for all the residents. The idea is for residents not to be more than a mile from a Greenway that they can use.

We’re also planning McDowell 2 Greenway, which will go from Westmoreland and connects to the existing McDowell 1 Greenway which goes to Birkdale. We’re going to cross Westmoreland and go all the way to Publix with that Greenway. It’s already been designed we have some money for it and we’ll go out on bid for that,

Also talk about connecting places… We’re planning a Greenway
that will go from Smithville Park on Catawba all the way up Washam Potts area near the elementary school, and that will be a big connectivity for almost two or three neighborhoods just like the Caldwell Station Greenway that we’re on right now. There are three to four neighborhoods that have entry, there’s actually an entry point for them onto the Greenway so they get a big advantage of the Greenway,

We’re also putting together an App that we’re going to put out.
It will use Google Maps and we hope to be finalizing that in the coming months, where people who are visiting can just pull up this App and you can tell where you are, where restaurants are, where it starts,
where it ends, how long it is, amenities on it.

So in summary we’re going to be dedicating the
Antiquity Greenway the end of this month.
I hope everybody turns out for that. Just come out and use the Greenways.
We’re convinced if you get on the Greenway, once you will come back.
It’s just getting folks to use them. They’re safe. They’re they’re just wonderful places to hang out for for the family as well as others.

The second one would be the Plum Creek Greenway, which we have designed and are working with the county and that will be down next to the Davidson’s new park.

And then we also have McDowell 2 Greenway which will connect the existing McDowell 1 Greenway that runs from Westmoreland to Birkdale.
That is in the planning stages, we don’t have the money for it right now. We’re going out for bid for it.

So all this is part of that Emerald necklace that we’re putting together,
which is 13 plus miles of Greenway. The key with Greenways is they just don’t start and go somewhere without connecting someplace

You have to connect Greenways and especially to the amenities of those folks who want to use them in those who want to get out and have exercise and get into nature and the healthy lifestyle that we want.

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