I don’t know if it has ever been done in this column, but let’s dream a little. If time stood still, money was no object and there was complete support from all property owners, what could be the future of the Greenway? Coming from a person who has been intimately involved in the Greenway process since 2004, allow me to throw out a few observations:
n Mohawk Drive to Hiwassee River: The natural path for the Greenway north is to follow Mouse Creek to the Hiwassee River. If this were to happen, hundreds of families in the neighborhoods along Mouse Creek Road would be connected. It would have a built-in trailhead at the soccer complex and could eventually connect with Walker Valley High School and the city of Charleston as they plan toward their own Greenway.
n Willow Drive to Smith Drive: The same applies for the south end of the current Greenway. While the Village Green Town Center has always been the chosen south terminus, extending a quarter-mile farther would connect hundreds more families and open up the possibility for all three high schools to be part of the system.
n Candies Creek: Some communities our size have more than one full-length Greenway. If these linear parks usually follow streams or creeks, Candies Creek is equally prominent in our county. The old Rolling Hills Golf Course houses a full mile of Candies and from there, north, there’s the potential to connect neighborhoods to Cleveland Middle School and beyond. There is further potential to connect with Westwood Baptist Church and then even under Highway 60 (Georgetown Road) once it receives its expected expansion to five lanes. South of the old golf course, it is less than a quarter mile to potentially connect with Fletcher Park.
n Industrial Park: With the potential new industrial and retail park coming in at Exit 20 in the near future, why not include a Greenway to encircle the property as part of the master plan? A development of that size could include a two- or three-mile, self-contained loop greenway which would benefit residents of the south side.
n Fillauer Branch: This potential connection with the current Greenway has been penned in the past, but is worth re-visiting. There is already a connection from 20th Street, north to the Spring Creek Town Center. From there, well-established neighborhoods between there and Blythe Ferry Road could be connected if there were a way to go under North Ocoee Street. Once on the other side, the proposed extension mentioned in last week’s column connecting under Keith Street at the Tinsley Park entrance could be applied.
Yes, these are dreams. But it’s fun and therapeutic to dream and sometimes good ideas arise from allowing the sky to be the limit. Perhaps through this process there could be alternatives to potential paths that have never been considered before. Do you have a dream for the Greenway? Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nothing is off limits!