Blacks Run Greenway

By: Amy Gleason
By: Amy Gleason

It's a place to feed the ducks, or for workers to stop for lunch. Slowly, but surely Harrisonburg is learning to live with green.

"We have approximately 10-linear miles of park to develop," said Todd Hedinger, of FBRG. "That's a lot and it's hard to imagine how such a thing can be done."

If you can't imagine it, you won't have to wait for long. The Friends of the Blacks Run Greenway has chosen two four-block sections as demonstration zones. One on the north end of town, the other near the high school.

"The downtown area has the most obstacles in terms of infrastructure that we're going to have to work around, in term of landowners and such," added Hedinger.

It will be a way for you to see how this project will work. Already, cleaning and planting has helped the environment. But, other benefits are to come.

"Greenways have been shown to have a positive effect on reducing socially undesirable behaviors like that including crime, vandalism and public displays of drinking and those kinds of things," said Hedinger.

Having bike and walking trails could help with reducing transportation, adding recreational outlets and boosting business while revitalizing downtown. But how much are all these great things going to cost you? So far, not a cent.

"There are no public funds that are dedicated towards it. It’s not something anyone has to fear as a tax burden or fear as a property owner," said Hedinger.

The group hopes to start working on its two demo areas next spring. Field design work at Purcell Park will begin this fall.

If you would like to help the project, visit www.blacksrungreenway.org to find out how.


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