The Charlottesville / Albemarle Greenways Project kicked off with a packed event at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center on the evening of Wednesday, November 8, 2017. Approximately 175 people, including many who have been working on this issue for a long time, shared an evening of fellowship and inspiration.
Attendees marked where they live and work and the barriers in between.
First up, greenway guru Chuck Flink, of Greenways Inc, gave a tailored presentation about how our area could benefit from a comprehensive greenway system, how other communities have done it and strategies for avoiding some common pitfalls. He drew on his national experience but focused on relatable examples such as Fayetteville, Roanoke, and Raleigh.
Next, Max Hepp-Buchannan, of Bike Walk RVA, provided a local example of an inclusive process that is getting results in Chesterfield County. He emphasized the importance of building a broad coalition and provided specific examples of ways that his organization is reaching out to diverse communities—and finding support.
Afterwards, both speakers fielded audience questions and attendees had an opportunity to provide input through a map exercise, comment boards and cards and Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission’s interactive WikiMap.
This project is a collaboration between The Piedmont Environmental Council and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission to work with communities in Charlottesville and the urban areas of Albemarle County to envision and implement a connective system of greenways. It is supported with a grant from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation.
- Charlottesville Tomorrow article: Greenway experts emphasize importance of grassroots engagement >>
- Audio file: http://s3.amazonaws.com/cville/cm%2Fmutlimedia%2F20171108-PEC-Greenways_40k.MP3