Consider these facts.
Partnerships launched the very idea of a Greenway 13 years ago with the completion of Phase 1, the modest 3,000-foot stretch connecting 20th Street to 25th Street, in October 2001.
Partnerships made possible Phases 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 whose construction has now stretched the winding trail of recreational beauty to almost four full miles.
Partnerships placed water fountains for the thirsty.
Partnerships positioned benches for the weary.
Partnerships built playgrounds for the laughing children of energized parents eager to spend time with their loved ones following a jaunt — whether by walk, jog, run or other — along the scenic linear park.
Partnerships constructed restrooms, a necessary but sometimes forgotten amenity that benefits children and adults of all ages.
Partnerships planted trees that provide shade for recreationalists, beauty to the eyes of all beholders and sanctity for Mother Earth’s precious gift of wildlife.
Partnerships graced sections of the trail with sculptures of interpretive art that stimulate the imagination and offer the perfect backdrop for a unique moment in photography.
Partnerships engineered pedestrian bridges that span the winding Mouse Creek, and not just in one spot, two, three or four, but in five key crossings where no man nor beast could be expected to make a leap of faith on his own.
Partnerships erected outdoor lighting that illuminated a path to fitness and a means for using it safely.
Partnerships enhanced trailheads and multiplied these growing points of access for all who travel to the fitness trail, whether by car, bike or on foot.
Partnerships lit the landscape with colorful banners that wave messages of support by those who believe in the Greenway’s value to the community and to the thousands who call our community home.
Partnerships designed underpasses of safe haven whose concrete tunnels afford convenience for trail users by eliminating the need to cross congested streets and busy intersections.
Partnerships brought community functions for the young and the old — events where creative youngsters can “chalk” their walk and adults can run a race for cause, regardless of pace and irrespective of time.
And now, a new partnership is bringing yet another valued amenity to our Greenway. It is an all-purpose pavilion under construction near the Raider Drive playground, the same facility that was sponsored by People for Care and Learning.
The sturdy stone and wood structure, which will feature an open fireplace at one end, is being constructed by talented volunteers from Men & Women of Action, a kindhearted organization that shares a key trait with People for Care and Learning. Both are affiliates of the Church of God and each is a dedicated, community-minded part of our Cleveland and Bradley County hometown.
But volunteers and their big-hearted organizations cannot build such a structure on their own. This kind of development requires materials and that means funding. Enter into the picture a familiar couple with a respected name. They are Bob and Susan Card who made a $54,000 gift to the Greenway specifically for the pavilion and with the request that it be constructed by Men & Women of Action.
As a community, Cleveland and Bradley County has always supported the Greenway. And the linear park’s users lead the way. Again, enter the Cards. On a regular basis, they use the fitness trail and watch in delight as their grandchildren enjoy the PCL playground.
The Greenway is a story of success because it is a story of partnerships.
In past years, this team approach has involved local, state and federal players. It still does, but in today’s economy the trail’s future is tied more closely now than ever to Cleveland and Bradley County people — our local governments, our businesses and our residents.
All are donors.
All are volunteers.
All are beneficiaries.
We thank Bob and Susan Card for their generosity. We applaud the professional talents and the willing labor of Men & Women of Action.
The pavilion is the Greenway’s next gift to our community. It is our community’s next investment in family.
Such partnerships are yet another reason why Cleveland, while nestled under her Bradley County umbrella, is truly “The City With Spirit.”