Keeping it Green: Greenways have proven history of enhancing values of property
by Gary Farlow Cleveland/Bradley Greenway Board
Mar 10, 2013 | 576 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I recently had the pleasure of spending several hours with Cameron Fisher on a Chamber of Commerce trip to Nashville. As you can imagine, you can cover a wide range of conversation on a trip that long. One of those topics was the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway, one of Cameron’s many passions.

He was telling me about some upcoming projects to extend the Greenway and some of the concerns expressed by property owners along the proposed extension. He explained that some homeowners have expressed concern about having the trail along their properties, citing potential crime and what the trail might do to their property values. His comments brought back memories of a similar Greenway project in Maryville where my family and I lived for almost 17 years.

During their planning process, many of the folks owning property along what is today the nine-mile Maryville/Alcoa Greenway expressed the same fears and concerns as the people here in Cleveland. My experience in Maryville was that the fears and concerns there, like here, were unfounded. In fact, we found the opposite to be true once the Greenway was completed.

After my son went to college, my wife and I decided to “downsize” and try to find a smaller home along Maryville’s Greenway. Most of the homes we found (and it wasn’t easy to find one) were priced well above similar homes in the neighborhood that didn’t front the very popular greenway. We finally found a townhouse condo a block away from the greenway. We bought it so we could at least be within walking distance of the trail.

We thoroughly enjoyed living there where we could walk out our door, around the corner and then walk the greenway as it followed a meandering creek connecting several parks in Maryville and Alcoa. We rarely heard of any criminal activity along that trail. Today, Maryville real estate ads for homes along the paved greenway always mention the fact that the home is “on the greenway” as a positive selling point. We have found the same to be true here in Cleveland. Cleveland’s Greenway is a tremendous asset to our community.

Due to the Maryville/Alcoa Greenway’s popularity, Maryville and Alcoa are looking at adding side trails off the main trail to connect with other neighborhoods. This has, and will continue to take place, here in our community.

The Spring Creek townhomes have a Greenway connection to 20th Street. The city of Cleveland recently applied for a grant to extend the Greenway from Tinsley Park to North Ocoee Street. Wouldn’t it be nice to have another Greenway along Candies Creek between Fletcher Park and the Cleveland Middle School Nature Trail?

We’re looking forward to seeing our Greenway extended to other neighborhoods and maybe, someday, all the way to the Hiwassee River with a connection to the future Hiwassee Blueway.