The City of Gastonia will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. at 632 E. Garrison Boulevard in Gastonia to mark the completion of the Avon and Catawba Creek Greenway expansion. The expansion is part of the City’s officially adopted Greenway Plan. The ceremony was to be held in September but was rescheduled because of rain.
“Trails are consistently one of the most popular choices of recreation here in our City and nationwide,” said Mayor Walker E. Reid, III. “And expanding our greenway system not only provides accessibility but also continues to help us create a healthier community.”
Trail usage has skyrocketed across the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a NCDOT study of a one-time $26.7 million investment in just four North Carolina trails, $19.4 million dollars in annual sales was produced at local businesses along those greenways.
“This project is a great example of how private funds can support our commitment to extending greenways and trails for everyone to enjoy,” said City Planning Director Jason Thompson.
In 2019, the City of Gastonia received a $140,000 grant from the Carolina Thread Trail Governing Board for the construction of the Avon-Catawba Greenway extension. The project created about 2,500 linear feet of asphalt for the Avon-Catawba Creek Greenway extension, which connects Lineberger Park to Second Avenue and increases the connectivity of neighborhoods in the area.
“This project epitomizes the importance that partnerships play in advancing the Carolina Thread Trail. The generous financial contribution of Wells Fargo to the Carolina Thread Trail in concert with the City’s commitment to creating these public benefit projects, serves as an exemplary model for turning opportunities into success,” said Bret Baronak, Project Manager. “We are proud to see so much progress occurring in Gastonia and other communities throughout our 15-county ‘footprint’.”
Those attending the Oct. 19 ribbon-cutting ceremony are asked to wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines. Participants are invited to take a short walk along the greenway after the ceremony.