Northend Greenway

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Cutback Day Press: ‘Northend Greenway Gets Big Response’

Posted by Northend Greenway on March 25, 2013

‘That Bike Path’ Starts Clearing, Northend Greenway Gets Big Response

Daily News Record | by Preston Knight

Volunteers work along Blacks Run during the cleanup Saturday. (Michael Reilly/Daily News-Record)

Volunteers work along Blacks Run during the cleanup Saturday. (Michael Reilly/Daily News-Record

HARRISONBURG — Working alongside about 150 other volunteers for a spring cutback day on Saturday, Suzi Carter was convinced that the Northend Greenway had reached an important stage: It was not simply “that bike path” in people’s minds.

“It brings so many interests together,” she said of the multiuse trail planned from Park View to downtown. “People who are here [today] want a safer, greener community. They’re from diverse backgrounds.”

Elise Lintelman,, left, an ecological apprentice with the Natural Garden, an ecologically-based design and build landscaping company in Harrisonburg chats with cleanup volunteer Beverly Prutsman Saturday. (Michael Reilly/Daily News-Record)

Elise Lintelman,, left, an ecological apprentice with the Natural Garden, an ecologically-based design and build landscaping company in Harrisonburg chats with cleanup volunteer Beverly Prutsman Saturday. (Michael Reilly/Daily News-Record)

The large volunteer workforce set up shop at the future site of Brookside Park off Suter Street to clear the area of brush and learn about native plants Saturday morning. A portion of the 2.5-mile greenway, which could break ground next year, will run through the park.

Carter, the greenway’s [Program Director], said Brookside would be the first of three or four pocket parks along the trail.

The park sits on close to three acres within a 35-lot residential community bearing the same name, Brookside.

Dain Hammond, project manager for Brookside, said a footbridge over Blacks Run should be functional in the park by late spring, while Eastern Mennonite University students gather neighborhood input for what the full park should have.

The Natural Garden, a landscape design and stream restoration firm in Harrisonburg, and Ecosystem Services LLC of Louisa are also collaborating on the project. Habitat for Humanity is lending a hand as well because it owns six of the lots.

The park is expected to serve as an educational resource, such as a place to hold workshops demonstrating how native trees — white oak, red cedar and black locust — can be used for park furniture, said Karl Shank, owner of The Natural Garden.

“It’s so exciting,” he said. “We’ve been dreaming of a collaborative effort for a long time.”

The joint interest in the park is fitting, given the variety of the greenway’s target users. An active grassroots effort convinced City Council to commit $600,000 to the project, and a matching grant to that sum may come from the Virginia Department of Transportation by June 1, Carter said.

The greenway is also planning a $2 million capital campaign.

But fundraising took a backseat to the cleanup of Brookside Park on Saturday.

“It’s beneficial for the environment,” said Nina Niphol, 16, of Dayton [and of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Youth Council]. “We just want to help. It’ll make our earth greener.”

Carter said, “It’s not very often you get to build your own park.”Nathan Barge clears brush Saturday. (Michael Reilly/Daily News-Record)

For questions or comments regarding Cutback Day and/or the Northend Greenway contact Suzi Carter at 540-810-7667 or suzi@northendgreenway.org

Re-posted from dnronline.com on March 25, 2013 | By PRESTON KNIGHT

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