Hi, I’m Nancy Vaughan and I’m the mayor of the city of Greensboro. When I moved here in 1989 I remember driving down downtown for the first time and it really was a ghost town. When you look at where we are now we have come so far. We have been very fortunate as a city that we’ve had a lot of private donors step up. A lot of people have invested downtown. The storefronts are beginning to open up. We’ve got businesses coming downtown. We’ve had a resurgence of residences downtown which really shows how healthy a community is. Then of course the recent developments of the Performing Arts Center and the Lebauer Park, the Wyndham Hotel, the Union Square campus. We’re just rolling right along.
In some ways I think the greenway is going to our river. We’re looking for something that sets us apart. I really see the greenway as being a meeting place. It will give people another place to meet, which I think will be really interesting that we could have this festival-like atmosphere that actually rings the city. We need to do something that gives us that cool vibe. I think this is one of those venues that can help move that forward.
There was a bond referendum a few years ago that put together enough funding to maybe finish a little over half of the greenway. We’ve had some private funds. It’s something that we’re looking at on how we can accelerate this. Clearly this is a very worthy project when you’re looking at the future of the city.
I think it’s kind of important to remember the genesis of the greenway and that when we had our bicentennial there were many people who got together and thought what can we leave for future generations. They come up with the idea of this greenway, something that really will be long-lasting and that families can enjoy. It will also have the potential of joining neighborhoods together and helping people with their health, because it will give people places to walk and bike ride and for families to go. I think it’s a great opportunity for us to get to know each other as a city, to mingle a little bit, and to work on our health and other issues.