Since 1987, RiverLink has been advocating for greenway (click here to read about benefits of greenways) and park development in the floodplain along the entire length of the French Broad River. Use of the floodplain for recreation, both passive and active, and as economic revitalization and environmental clean-up tool are the centerpiece of RiverLink’s activities these past 20 years. Our primary goal is for the entire watershed to be RiverLinked!
RiverLink continually supports planning, development and construction of greenways throughout our four-county region, through support of our members and Deeds of Support for specific projects.
Current Greenway Projects
Wilma Dykeman Greenway
The Wilma Dykeman RiverWay is a 17+ mile greenway linking the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers to WNC major assets and attractionsm including downtown Asheville, the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC Arboretum, and Biltmore Estate with a continuous multi-use trail. CLICK HERE for more information.
CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT THE WILMA DYKEMAN RIVERWAY
This project is to support the completion of 1/4 mile of the Reed Creek Greenway from Catawba St. to W.T Weaver Blvd. RiverLink and the Monford Community have been working together with other local intities to support this effort. The Pigeon River Fund, of the Community Foundation of WNC, has supported water quality and stormwater runoff treatment of the constructed trail.
CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT THE BROADWAY GREENWAY
West Asheville Hominy Creek Greenway Extension (Waller Tract)
The Hominy Creek Greenway is being created through approximately 14 acres of land along Hominy Creek in West Asheville. The land borders 2/3 mile of the northern side of Hominy Creek and Buttermilk Creek between Sand Hill Road and Hominy Creek Road. A friends group developed over the past couple of years. The Friends of Hominy Creek Greenway works with the West Asheville community to manage and create community parkland that maintains its wild nature, preserves the area’s rich history, and connects the community to the river and to downtown.
CLICK HERE for more information about the greenway efforts.
CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT THE HOMINY CREEK GREEWAY
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French Broad River Greenway
PHASE I of the French Broad River Greenway
The French Broad River Park on Amboy Road is the first greenway built in the city of Asheville or the watershed. It was dedicated with a 21-gun salute, a marching band and thousands of happy and excited citizens in September 1994. RiverLink was instrumental in convincing CP&L to donate the land for this river park development. The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation gave RiverLink a grant to hire a landscape architecture firm to develop the master plan and construction drawings. Our architects successfully integrated the rooflines of the old Riverside Park (1904 – 1916) into the new French Broad River Park infusing it with a sense of history. RiverLink also initiated the sale of one-foot sections of greenway, called “deeds of support.” For $50 per foot, everybody can own a piece of the greenway. Every penny raised from the sale of “Deeds of Support” is used to develop greenways along the river. RiverLink also raised the funds needed to install picnic tables, benches, bike racks, bollards and other amenities that make the greenways at French Broad River Park PHASE I, II and III user friendly and comfortable. RiverLink was vital in operating the park for the first two year. The French Broad River Park is now maintained by the City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department.
PHASE II of the French Broad River Greenway
In September 1995, Phase II of French Broad River Park was opened to the public, with another loop of greenway trail. Over the years, with lots of help from volunteers, a dog park and wildflower gardens have been added. The park won the 21st Century American heritage Park Award naming it one of the 10 best parks in the USA funded with a land and water conservation fund grant. The park has been designated as a model for recreation, open space and conservation
PHASE III of the French Broad River Greenway
In 1999, a new section of greenway, Phase III, with a handicapped accessible fishing pier was funded by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and installed overlooking the French Broad River. The greenway trail was also extended along the river next to Amboy Road, extending the walking/biking trail opportunities even further.
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The Old Asheville Speedway - Carrier Park
1999 was also the year the RiverLink purchased the former Asheville Motor Speedway, a 50-acre motor racetrack on Amboy Road. To purchase and develop the old Speedway into what has become the most used recreational facility in the city of Asheville RiverLink raised over $1.6 million dollars. In 1999, RiverLink donated the Speedway, with a conservation easement, to the City of Asheville. This was the largest cash value donation to the city in its history. The old Speedway has been rechristened Carrier Park and now boasts a variety of family fun activities that attract visitors from all over the region. The park included various ammenities such as:
- A resurfaced racetrack that invites cyclist and cycling races – and has been dubbed the mellowdrome. This popular track hosts the Rumble on the River and other racing series each summer- Check out their schedule at www.mellowdrome.com!
- A playground built with 1,000 volunteers in 5 days!
- An outdoor education wetland/stormwater Education Center.
- 7 Bocce ball /Lawn Bowling Courts.
- 8 Volley ball CourtBasketball Court.
- In-Line Skating rink that attracts all ages of teams and competitors. Check out their website at www.ashevillehockey.org.
- A combination baseball/soccer field.
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Hominy Creek Park
In 2005, the Buncombe County Commissioners by the request of RiverLink donated a con-servation easement to Hominy Creek Park. RiverLink consulted with the neighborhood and other interested parties before hiring a landscape architect to develop a plan to bring new life to this very busy river access facility. Part of the plan included introducing a “Dog Bark Park” and artists designed and built benches, picnic tables, and other park amenities.
The DOT enhancement program has funded a 2-mile river trail from the old Speedway to Hominy Creek Park. The DOT has also funded a greenway trail and sidewalk from the Farmer’s Market (just above Hominy Creek Park) to the Toyota Dealership on NC Route 191. See the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay power point for more information regarding greenway development.
Ongoing Projects and Resoucre Links