JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-A new park is open and waiting for local residents to use it. . .and it runs through Jonesboro!
Representatives from the city of Jonesboro, Safe Routes to School Program, Reck Trails Program, and Parks and Recreation Department all braved the cold Wednesday morning to celebrate the completion of the latest section of the "Greenway Trail Project".
Director for Parks and Recreation, Jeff Owens, has been a part of this project for three years, now.
Owens says to see this trail finally becoming a reality is wonderful!
"I have personally been working on this project since 2007, with the writing of the grants, the design process. It's been going on for three years now!"
Owens says the actual definition for "greenway" is linear park, "What we have hear is a twelve foot wide, multi use trail. So, you can come out and run on it, walk on it, bring the baby stroller. Teach you kids how to ride a bicycle. It's an alternate mode of transportation and then recreation for others."
Owens says he's thrilled to see the trail finally open and people using it, "It's a great feeling when you work on something for three years and you finally get it finished. And the fact that I come out and I actually see people using it, families riding bicycles together."
But Owens says this trail was designed to be more than just a form of recreation.
It's helping to keep our children safe!
"We're providing a safe avenue for children in this neighborhood immediately behind us. A safe place to walk to school rather than half to walk on Race Street. It's a fairly narrow road with a lot of traffic. Now, we have a safe way for them to get to school."
Right now, the trail starts at Allen Park Community Center on Race Street and goes in behind Nettleton Intermediate Center and goes up to the mall, then goes in behind the mall and dead ends at Matthews Avenue.
This part of the project cost $461, 000 dollars.
But they're not done!
Owens says they're getting ready to start on the next section of the Greenway Trail!
"We have funding secured for the next section of it which will follow from the mall through ASU's campus and connect all the way to downtown."
They expect this next phase to take another two to three years.
They've started selecting engineers for the project and will begin the design phase at the first of the year.
For more information about the Greenway Project, log onto their website.