May 22 marked the official opening of Thomas Sayre's piece called Cairn's Course at WestWoods along the railroad corridor on the western side of the Downtown Greenway. We also celebrated the soon to start construction of the final 1 mile of the 4 mile loop of the Downtown Greenway that will start later this year. If you were unable to attend, click here to watch the Facebook Live event.
Read recent article about the project by Dawn Kane in the News & Record.
2020 was a busy year for construction with work continuing on the Murrow Boulevard section running from Gate City Boulevard north and then west to Fisher Avenue and Greene Street. Work is almost complete with some final landscaping, site furnishings, and signage to be finished. An assessment is ongoing of the recent repaving of Murrow Boulevard – so you may see cones on the roadway for a bit longer. The bridges along Fisher Avenue that go over the railroad tracks and Church Street are in need of repair and that work will take place in 2021. The trail will be open and a safe route provided during that construction. This whole section is a dramatic change from a 6-lane divided highway unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists with no landscaping to what you see today – a roadway suitable for vehicular traffic, a 12 foot wide greenway with enhanced landscaping and lots of trees, and a protected bike lane for southbound traffic.
The Downtown Greenway is another step closer after City Council approved an agreement with NC Department of Transportation for construction of Phase 4 and the Atlantic and Yadkin Greenway Phase 1. Eighty percent of the $3.4 million project will come from federal funds with a 20 percent local match, using funds from the 2016 Parks and Recreation Bond and Transportation Bond accounts. The former railroad corridor on the west side will go out to bid in summer 2021 with an anticipated fall start date. This section should be complete in 2023 and will not only close the four-mile loop of the Downtown Greenway and complete it, but will also build the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway north to Benjamin Parkway.
Artist Radcliffe Bailey was selected in early 2020 to design and fabricate the last of the 4 cornerstones – Freedom at the intersection of Murrow and Gate City Boulevards (click here for more info on Radcliffe Bailey). We anticipate construction to begin in fall 2021.
Removal of railroad tracks along the railroad corridor along Phase 4:
Completed greenway trail along the eastern section from Gate City Blvd to Fisher to Greene Street along Murrow Blvd:
A renovation of LoFi Park at the corner of Smith and Eugene Streets was completed in the spring and the new design by David Mudd and Justin Vettel, Permaculture Gardeners includes berms with boulders and new trees, and a rain garden in addition to an open lawn space. The grass is greener than it ever has been before with the addition of astroturf.
Click here for map of Open Sections.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.”
Click here to read recent article in the News & Record by Dawn Kane and here to watch WFMY News 2 segment on the Freedom Cornerstone.
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.
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.