Author Archives: Laura Lorenz

Artist Radcliffe Bailey shares plans for Freedom Cornerstone

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Artist Radcliffe Bailey who was selected to design and fabricate the Freedom Cornerstone shares plans for the last of four cornerstones located on the Downtown Greenway. Click here to read recent article in the News & Record. Click here to watch Action Greensboro's The More You Know GSO Facebook Live event with Radcliffe Bailey and learn about his vision and plans for the cornerstone. We anticipate construction to begin on the cornerstone this summer.    

Downtown Greenway receives $15,000 grant to complete the final mile

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Project is one of eleven in the country to awardees of the highly competitive Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s 2021 Trail Grants Program totaling $145,000.  The Downtown Greenway received a $15,000 grant from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy 2021 Trail Grants Program. The RTC Trail Grants program awarded $145,000 in total to fill critical trail gaps, with an emphasis on regional and community development goals. Among the awards included $60,000 in Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund Grants to bring forward the vision for the cross-country Great American Rail-Trail™, a developing 3,700-mile trail that connects across 12 states between Washington, D.C., and Washington State. The 2021 Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund Grants winners will contribute to the development and maintenance of the gaps along the Great American Rail-Trail. Recipients include the following: Cedar Trails Partnership (Iowa), receiving a $10,000 Doppelt Fund matching grant to help rehabilitate a 1.5-mile section of trail closed due to flood damage Yellowstone Historic Center (Montana), receiving a $10,000 Doppelt Fund grant for the conversion of a 9-mile abandonment along the Yellowstone Shortline Trail into a multi-use path from the Montana–Idaho border Headwaters Trail System (Montana), receiving a $10,000 Doppelt Fund matching grant to support the development of the 0.8 mile remaining to complete a 12-mile network in Gallatin County to connect the Headwaters Trail, as part of the preferred route of the Great American Rail-Trail Northwest Nebraska Trails Association (Nebraska), receiving a $10,000 Doppelt Fund grant for the Cowboy Trail Connection’s development of engineering documents for construction of the first miles of Cowboy Trail Connection into Chadron in Dawes County Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County (Ohio), receiving a $10,000 Doppelt Fund matching grant to complete a 1.6-mile gap between two sections of the Heartland Trail Peninsula Trails Coalition (Washington), receiving a $10,000 Doppelt Fund grant to support a consultant for the Olympic Discovery Trail, as part of the preferred route of the Great American Rail-Trail in Jefferson and Clallam counties. The 2021 Trail Grants Program recipient list emphasizes investments in projects with the potential to strengthen or connect trails in five communities nationwide. The recipients include: Downtown Greenway (North Carolina), receiving a $15,000 RTC Trail Grant to support the completion of a final 1-mile rail-trail section Friends of the Salem Bike-Ped Corridor (New Hampshire), receiving a $10,000 RTC Trail Grant to construct a trail segment, trailhead and amenities New Jersey Rail-Trail Projects, receiving $60,000 in RTC Trail Grants, including $20,000 to the New Jersey Bike-Walk Coalition to advance community engagement for the Essex-Hudson Greenway trail and $10,000 to the Embankment Preservation Coalition to advance the proposed 1-mile trail along the Harsimus Stem Embankment “The RTC Trail Grants Program offers support to projects that are often not funded otherwise and are left out of traditional funding streams. These grants often fill critical gaps—both in trail development and funding—delivering returns on investment that bring lasting benefit to communities,” said Ryan Chao, president of RTC.

Little Free Libraries installed on the Downtown Greenway

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Three Little Free Libraries have been installed on the Downtown Greenway. Porter Halyburton designed and fabricated three libraries and Darlene McClinton painted each. You can find the libraries at Woven Works Park (Lindsay & Murrow), Meeting Place at Tradition Cornerstone (Smith & Prescott) and on Bragg St. at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive (see map). Stop by and take a book or give a book. Do you have books to donate?  Contact Laura Lorenz at llorenz@actiongreensboro.org About Porter: A few good things have come out of Covid-19, among them Porter Halyburton’s recently refined woodworking skills and the construction of three Little Free Libraries for the Downtown Greenway. Porter, father of Dabney Sanders, Downtown Greenway Project Coordinator, recently moved to Well-Spring Retirement Community and was anxious to try out the equipment in Well-Spring’s new state-of-the-art woodworking shop.   The Little Free Libraries were a perfect opportunity to hone his skills and do something to enhance the Greenway and nearby neighborhoods. Since constructing the Little Free Libraries, Porter has designed and made a number of lidded boxes and cutting boards out of exotic woods as gifts for family and friends.   Before his newly found passion for woodworking, Porter spent several days a week at Art Alliance pottery studio in the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center.   His pottery is available in the shop at GreenHill. About Darlene: Local artist Darlene McClinton was selected to create the design and re-paint the bridge supports at Morehead Park on the Downtown Greenway at 475 Spring Garden Street.  Darlene formed a team of local artists that helped her add new life to the bridge supports and named the project Bridging the Gap. The project was completed in December 2020.  Darlene graduated from Grimsley High School and attended NC A&T, studying visual arts and design.  She is a Visual Arts Professor at NCA&T University.  In 2014, she and two partners opened the Artist Bloc, an art supply and coffee shop that provided event space and educational opportunities. Today the business is focused on being an art venue, with a little encouragement from Launch Greensboro, by participating in the Triad Startup Lab. They want to turn it into a chain. This August will be the 3rd annual Bloc Awards present by the Artist Bloc. This event was created to honor, recognize and celebrate the outstanding Triad Artists in the arts entertainment, fashion, cosmetic, culinary industry and to highlight non-traditional artist. “The Artist Bloc is a home for artists. We see about 300 artists per week,” Darlene says. She’s also currently serving as Grants Manager for ArtGreensboro and serving on the Downtown Greenway’s Public Art committee. Later this year, one of her paintings – a self portrait called “I am” – will hang at the new Steven Tanger Center for Performing Arts. “I’m so happy about the direction Greensboro is growing,” she says. “My goal for Greensboro in terms of the arts is for it to continue to be more inclusive. We really need to be sharing the wealth at little bit more than it’s been being shared. It needs to continue to try to create equal opportunities for all cultures, even beyond African American.”

LoFi Park Renovations underway

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A renovation of LoFi Park located at the corner of Smith and Eugene Streets began in November.  The new design by David Mudd and Justin Vettel, Permaculture Gardeners, will include berms with boulders and new trees, a rain garden and an open lawn space.  The grass will be greener than it ever has been before.  Completion of renovations in the spring.  

2020 NC BikeWalk Summit: Greensboro Greenways

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Dabney Sanders, Downtown Greenway Project Manager and Bob Powell, Neighborhood Consultant, talk about Greensboro Greenways at the 2020 NC BikeWalk Virtual Summit Click here to watch. The Downtown Greenway, a collaborative project of the City of Greensboro and Action Greensboro, is a partially completed four-mile walking and biking trail that is encouraging economic development, increasing the tax base for the city, and improving quality of life for its citizens. This urban loop around the center city of downtown Greensboro is a green space that promotes fitness, connectedness and well-being for residents and visitors. It is re-purposing a former railroad line and a partially built highway. The lovely public art along the Greenway tells stories and engages users of the trail in a unique and authentic way. With connections to existing and planned trails systems, this loop is the hub of the system, and connects residents from all parts of the community. This presentation outlines how this project was funded through a public private partnership, and shows the role that public art can play in telling community stories. You will see not only the stunning art but the work that was done to engage and include the historically black neighborhoods that the Downtown Greenway passes through in the planning process.

Spotlight on Businesses on the Downtown Greenway: MACHETE Restaurant

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Machete Restaurant opened earlier this year near Deep Roots Market next to Sage Mule in the space formerly Crafted — The Art of Street Food. Machete is the brick-and-mortar opening of a Greensboro-based supper club by the same name that has operated since 2018. Owner and Greensboro native, Tal Blevins said the restaurant is a reflection of what he and chefs Kevin Cottrell and Lydia Greene have been doing with the supper club dinners.  Machete features simple perfection and casual professionalism that are their objectives as they aim to delight and arouse the senses without being pretentious. Their team sources the best ingredients locally and from around the world to fulfill our vision of creating distinctive, delicious, beautiful comfort food and cocktails. Blevins explains how the name of the restaurant came about.  Cottrell, also a Greensboro native, liked to roam the woods near his home when he was a child. His sidekick was a machete. This is not a restaurant, this is our home; you are not our customer, you are our guest. Hours for the restaurant are 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 4 to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Dinner service begins at 5 p.m. with the 4 o’clock hour reserved for cocktails and appetizers in the front of the restaurant where garage doors will be rolled up on warm days.  

Piedmont Legacy Trails Fall Conversation Series- Equity on Trails: Creating Inclusive Outdoor Spaces

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Piedmont Legacy Trails Fall Conversation Series presented Equity on Trails: Creating Inclusive Outdoor Spaces.  A Greensboro Downtown Greenway Panel of Partners will share two aspects of their inclusive planning process for the greenway: (1) engaging traditionally marginalized neighborhoods in the planning process; and (2) creating Woven Works, one of the Downtown Greenway’s four cornerstone art installations that includes interactive and accessible elements designed for people with disabilities. Speakers include: Dabney Sanders – Project Manager for the Greensboro Downtown Greenway. James Griffin – born and raised in Warnersville, founder of the Warnersville Historical and Beautification Society, and Director of Real Estate for NC Central University. Randy Walker – Minneapolis based artist who designed Woven Works Park on the Downtown Greenway. Phelps Sprinkle – VP Development and Donor Services for the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and a parent of Roxie, a child with special needs. Phelps has worked and volunteered for disability providers and met lots of parents and kids across those years which has helped inform his perspective for more inclusive opportunities for all.  Click here to watch the conversation.

Spotlight on City Partners: Engineering & Inspections

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The Engineering and Inspections Department is an integral part of the public/private partnership with the Downtown Greenway and the City of Greensboro. We are grateful for our partnership with the Engineering and Inspections Department over the past ten years.  Eric Tart currently serves as the project manager for the Downtown Greenway at the City, and he has served on the Greenway Technical Team for 6 years. Eric has successfully managed the project and has been proactive in continuing to move the construction along even during COVID, under the leadership of Department head, Kenney McDowell.  John Fersner, Jason Geary and Melinda King have also played key roles in the Downtown Greenway’s construction. Eric shared: “It has been a wonderful opportunity to work on such a unique project and to see it come together over time.  It is definitely something I will look back on in the future with a great sense of accomplishment as likely the most signature project that I was intimately involved with during my time at the City.” The Engineering and Inspections Department is dedicated to working with other City departments in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of Greensboro residents by providing safe and reliable public infrastructure, homes, and workplaces, as well as creating healthy and attractive neighborhoods. They are committed to a customer-friendly, business-like environment while adhering to the core values established by the City of Greensboro. As we finally see the end of the project in the near future, we appreciate the Engineering and Inspections team and their dedication to the project.

Work continues on the West Woods site

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Works continues on the West Woods site along the railroad corridor on the Downtown Greenway! This monumental earthcasting is unlike anything else along the Downtown Greenway or in Greensboro.  Three “cairns” of stacked concrete “stones” that were dug from the earth nearby will serve as a beacon to this former industrial site that is adjacent to Greensboro College’s Theatre Arts Campus at 501 Guilford Avenue. Watch the video from work on the site.  Click here to read Dawn Kane's article in the News & Record.