The staff there have been requesting a printed piece that people can take with them to answer such questions as, “How long is it?” “Where is the best place to park?” and “Where is the Greenway in relation to downtown?”
Browsing through some digital files, I have them categorized by phases, starting with the construction of Phase III (20th Street to Willow Street). There are photos of three of the five pedestrian bridges being lowered into place by massive cranes. There are lots of shots of crews forming, pouring and smoothing cement. Then there are pictures of some groundbreaking ceremonies and ribbon-cutting celebrations. All of these pictures tell the story of the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway and reminded me of just how far we’ve come over the last decade.
However, I also realized that virtually none of these photos would be appropriate for the brochure because they don’t show the Greenway in its “matured” present state. Those early photos don’t show how the grass has filled in nicely along the Keith Street stretch between 17th and 20th which was Phase 3. Phase 4 photos showcased the development from the Tinsley Park bridge to Mohawk Street, complete with bridge underpasses, retaining walls, new tiles and trenching for conduit. Phase 5 pictures, the latest phase, which meanders through Tinsley Park, were also outdated with a lot of documentation of a muddy, rutted trail that did not get paved until late last spring.
Since these photos were taken, our Greenway has matured. Even on Phase 5, virtually all the grass has grown in. New trees have taken root and existing trees have grown larger. Obviously, this maturation is most prevalent on Phases 1 and 2, between Raider Drive and 20th Street. This stretch has been in place since 2006 when the ribbon was cut on Phase 2.
Unless you take note of it, it is easy to overlook. We have come to a place where we take our Greenway for granted. That’s not a bad thing. It has become such a part of our everyday lives and it is here to stay.
So, now I have to go out and take a whole new set of photos showing our “mature” Greenway. I don’t mind. It gives me another excuse to get out and enjoy this beautiful asset of our community.