Black Mountain Greenways and Trails Committee
October 5, 2021
Mission: The Black Mountain Greenways and Trails Committee exists to promote greenways and trails in Black Mountain and surrounding areas.
The committee has applied for a grant from Explore Asheville for Chalk the Walk. Pat Millington assisted the committee and wrote the grant. We should be notified by Oct 27 with a decision on the grant.
Chalk the Walk, 2021 – Julia reported that thirty-five artists drew beautiful artwork for the event. Many families and others attended the event. Our committee worked with the Black Mountain Center for the Arts to combine artistic expression and walking on the greenways. Tysons was a sponsor for the event.
Geyser Growl, Oct 23 – Glory Hound organization works with local nonprofits to provide volunteers for running a ½ marathon. Our committee is responsible for 12 volunteers to work for approximately 1.5 hours. Volunteers need to staff water stations and give directions at certain intersections. The committee will receive a $1,000 donation for doing this work.
Village Way Greenway – Julie reported that there has been a lot of work on this section of the trail to clear it and plant with clumping grasses. Emily Sampson is helping with the design and choices of plants. There will be a planting day scheduled on Tuesday, October 12 at 8 am. Sally Cochran mentioned that the committee is working with the local schools to make this part of the trail a learning classroom. Students will plant seeds and add more plantings in the spring.
Black Mountain Greenway Challenge April 9, 2022. Julie reported that volunteers are needed to serve on committees, such as the Awards and the Promotion Committee. We already have a Sponsor Committee and Fred heading up the volunteer organization. The committee is working to decide on a specific section of Greenway that the money collected from the event would support. There have already been some donations received to support the event.
Jen Billstrom then introduced Beth Heile, the Executive Director of the Friends of Fonta Flora State Trail. Pam King and Jen Billstrom also serve as members.
A few points from Beth’s talk:
- The trail is planned to go from Morganton to Asheville, 100 miles.
- The trail began in 2018 and started as a loop around Lake James.
- The main goal currently is to get people connected and excited about the trail from Old Fort to Asheville. Please help spread the word about the trail.
- There are only 18.7 miles designated and completed thus far.
- There are three goals for new sections, they must be safe, sustainable and have landowner permission.
- There are another 30 miles ready to be added and the goal is to complete the trail in 10 years.
- The committee depends on the land managers to assist with the trail building and maintenance.
- The trail is working with 9 local governments, 3 counties, six municipalities.
- To help get the word out the committee runs “hike and learn” events. Some upcoming events are:
- Oct 23 – in Asheville, Lucy Crown and Connect Buncombe are working with them
- Nov 6 – Copper Ridge
- Dec 11 – Lake James Visitor Center and the bridge.
- Join the organization – $25 individual/ $50 family/ $500 lifetime member (now approx.. 100 members). There are also about 12 Business partnership donations.
- Funding – Her salary is funded from local governments.
- Great Trails State Coalition – is a way of securing money for trails. At this point the committee is trying to get legislatures on board. A Year of the Trail Bill passed, as a unanimous vote in house and senate. The bill declares 2023 as the year of the trail. Beth suggests that this is a good time to invite and showcase what we have thus far and recognize volunteers. There will be $29 million dollars available through this grant.
- The committee will have a booth at the Farmers Market on Saturday, November 20 to introduce and educate the public about the differences between the commission and the committee. This is also the Holiday Market, the last market of the year.
- Dec 4 at 4 pm. Black Mt. Christmas Parade. Please come and join. This year’s theme is “A Black Mountain Christmas”. Bring yourself, children, grandchildren, neighbors and your favorite toys- bike, trike, skateboard, hoverboard, hula hoop, skates, hiking poles and wagons. Decorate brightly and come prepared to wave and smile! Meet at 3:30-3:45pm behind Tractor Supply. Look for our group with a Greenways banner.