In the News

Mason Bee Houses installed on Downtown Greenway as part of Eagle Scout Project

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Click here for plans to make your own Mason Bee House. Click here to learn more about all pollinators in an article in Wildlife in North Carolina Magazine. Hi, my name is Reid Lorenz. I am a Senior at Grimsley High School and an approaching Eagle Scout in Boy Scout Troop 101. You may have noticed new additions to two of the cornerstones on the Downtown Greenway, at the Edible Orchard at Meeting Place and Woven Works Park in the Bird, Bee, and Butterfly Pollinator Garden that surrounds Muddy Creek stream. These new additions are raised mason bee houses, small houses made of cedar wood and stuffed with bamboo rods that help protect and save the declining mason bee population. Recently, bees are in danger from extinction, due to parasites, pesticides, and colony collapse disorder. But when most people hear about bees becoming extinct, they automatically think of honeybees because they are more well-known and affect us more prominently as they are the main pollinators that help our food grow and end up in our homes. But mason bees are just as important. It is thought that one mason bee can do the work of 100 honeybees. Therefore, the main goal of these houses is to help these bees in their pollinating process and give them a nice home to thrive in. In addition to designing, fabricating and installing the houses, I will also plant some pollinator plants around the bases of the three houses at Meeting Place in spring 2020. According to Charlie Headington, local permaculture gardener and member of the Permaculture Guild, mason bees prefer blue, purple, and yellow flowers, so planting purple hyacinth, blue asters, or yellow black-eyed susans are the best options. Back to the houses themselves, the reason for the bamboo inside the houses, is for each bee to have their own nest. They are known as solitary bees, because they neither live in colonies nor have a single queen. Rather, each female mason bee lays four or five eggs in small, natural holes or cavities, like the bamboo rods, each egg separated by mud. You may wonder why the houses are facing the direction that they are—mason bees are ectothermic which means that they can’t regulate their body temperature so their houses need to face a south/southeast direction so they can stay warm with the sun in the winter months. I want to thank Dabney Sanders, Downtown Greenway Project Manager, for letting me put these houses on the Downtown Greenway and can’t wait for the bees to start to cultivate the houses in the spring. Reid Lorenz, BSA Troop 101

Mark your calendar for the 2020 Wheels on the Greenway

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Mark your calendar for this years event-it is something to BRAGG about!  New location at 100 East Bragg Street on the Downtown Greenway at the corner of South Elm and Bragg Streets.  We are collecting gently used kid and adult bikes for kids at Peck Elementary School.  If you would like to donate a bike, please drop it off at REI -Friendly Center during business hours or contact Laura Lorenz at llorenz@actiongreensboro.org.

Join us for a Special One-Time Showing of the Pollinator Movie

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We need 45 people to sign up for this special one-time viewing!  If you have every wondered how you can make a difference to help our pollinators– here is a great opportunity! Click here to reserve your ticket. There is a fee for each ticket.  If we do not reach the minimum number of tickets reserved by February 28, your credit card will not be charged.  Local bee experts from UNCG’s Plant & Pollinator Center will be on hand to answer questions.  Also, Boy Scout Reid Lorenz will have plans for making your own Mason Bee House and samples to share like those he installed on the Downtown Greenway this fall.

Update on design and construction

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Construction on southeast corner is complete between MLK Jr. Blvd/Bragg St and Gate City Blvd/Murrow Blvd. Construction began on Smith Street between Spring and Prescott in January and was completed in September 2019.  Additional landscaping will be added in the spring. The contract to construct the Murrow Boulevard section was approved in fall 2018 and construction began in April 2019. Significant work has begun at the Gate City Boulevard intersection with new curb lines being installed, power lines relocated, and a staircase being installed near Gorrell Street. Pavement on the far eastern northbound lane has been removed.  Completion is expected October 2020.  Freedom Cornerstone artist Radcliffe Bailey was selected in January to design and fabricate the last of the 4 cornerstones (click here for more info on artist).  Fabrication to take place in summer/fall of 2020 with anticipated installation in early 2021.   Design is complete for the western leg along the railroad tracks from Spring Garden to Smith Street and a portion of the continued Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway from Smith Street to the Mitchell Water Treatment Plant just north of Benjamin Parkway.  Railroad agreement with Norfolk Southern signed on November 8 to build trail on railroad corridor. Construction to begin in summer 2020. Greenway trail along Smith Street between Spring and Prescott Streets Start of construction on the eastern section from Gate City Blvd to Fisher to Greene Street.

A ‘Green’ Dream: Imagining Greensboro in 2030

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Corey Hillman shares ideas for making Greensboro a walkable city. What can you do to help make this dream into a reality? Click here to his read article. Corey Hillman is a graduate of Baylor University holding a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. He is a Greensboro native and a member of the Communications Committee for the Downtown Greenway. You can follow him at @GboroPhysio.

Freedom Cornerstone Artist Announced

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We are excited to announce that Artist RADCLIFFE BAILEY has been selected to design and fabricate the Freedom Cornerstone on the Downtown Greenway. Radcliffe is a painter, sculptor, and mixed media artist from Atlanta, Georgia who brings an international reputation to the project and a history of telling stories of African American history and culture.   A series of Public Meetings with Radcliffe will be planned this spring to give him the opportunity to learn about Greensboro's culture and history. We anticipate design and fabrication of the Freedom Cornerstone this summer and fall, with an installation in early 2021. Click here for samples of Radcliffe's work. Click here to read the entire press release.