It was a green day for the Greenway—the Middle Fork Greenway trail—as the results of a fundraiser were totaled and announced yesterday afternoon. The event, held the weekend of Easter earlier this month, raised nearly $50,000 for the trail, which will eventually stretch from Blowing Rock to Boone. The fundraiser was the brainchild of Appalachian Ski Mountain’s Brad Moretz, who kicked things off by extending the ski season into April and donating a portion of proceeds to the Greenway, and then challenged other area businesses to do likewise. The response to that grew to 62 participants, who yesterday brought their checks, and Ann Hayes Browning announced the results, saying that $48,350 was raised in the effort. Browning said the effort sends the right message about the commitment of those promoting the project, “It’s just a fantastic show of community support, and we are so grateful to Appalachian Ski Mountain for having this great idea and being so energetic to reach out to our other local businesses to make this happen. It is going to be such a demonstration of community support and help demonstrate to our granting organizations how much this community is invested in creating the Middle Fork Greenway.”Read More
Published On: May 4, 2015 @ 3:59 pm EDT
Last modified: May 4, 2015 @ 3:59 pm EDT
Some students in Western North Carolina are literally biking uphill, both ways, to and from school. As kids across the state prepare to take part in national Bike to School Day May 6, teachers admit living in the mountains means a few more curves, and hills.
“We have some climbs. It can be a challenge, but we’ve overcome it,” says Lauren Dotson, assistant principal at Hardin Park Elementary in Boone. Her school will launch its event in a bank parking lot, less than a half mile away. Along the route, Boone Police and volunteer cyclists will help keep the students safe. “This day gives kids who normally couldn’t ride their bikes all the way to school a chance to get active and be part of the experience, too”, says Dotson. Nearly 100 Hardin Park students participated in a similar event last year.
“Kids and parents are increasingly seeking options such as walking and biking to school,” says NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Division Director Lauren Blackburn. “Mountainous areas make for steeper terrain but that is not a deterrent to cycling or physical activity for most children. Planning and public education are important to improving safety and infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians of all ages. Bike to School Day is a great way for friends and families to celebrate cycling.”
Jesse Swain, a physical education teacher at Asheville’s Claxton Elementary, agrees. “We do have kids using our bike racks every day, but since we’re a magnet school and many kids live too far away, a lot of students who want to bike can’t.” On Bike to School Day, Claxton students have the option of two gathering spots, each about three-fourths of a mile away, where Swain and other staff members will join them. He hopes the ride encourages students to seek out cycling spots in area parks and greenways to boost their pedal power after school and weekends.
When families are able to ride together, NCDOT encourages them to bring their cameras. The Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation is having a cycling photo contest, looking for snapshots that capture the best of cycling from the mountains to the coast. Pictures can earn riders prizes including jerseys, lights, reflective arm bands, and other safety gear. Submit photos through May 29 from the link on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Division page of www.ncdot.gov. For a calendar of cycling events and safe cycling information, visit www.walkbikenc.com.Read More