Harrisonburg, VA – A community grant valued at $11,000 was awarded to Harrisonburg’s Northend Greenway last week by MillionMile Greenway (MMG), an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps grassroots organizations build trails and protect green space.
The grant combines a cash award and in-kind services from MMG’s experts in marketing and technical planning. “This project has every essential element we look for in a partner,” says Jim Langford, President of MillionMile Greenway. He cited “community buy-in with the ability to match MMG funding, and a broad-based Advisory Board with leaders from the business, education, governmental and donor communities.” Langford adds, “The 2.5-mile trail also connects activity centers with each other – a powerful benefit to Harrisonburg.”
According to Suzi Carter, Northend Greenway’s outreach and development coordinator, the future paved trail will provide easy walking and biking access between the Farmers Market Pavilion downtown, the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community and the Eastern Mennonite University Arboretum which will bring together young and old, downtown residents and visitors, nature lovers and fitness advocates among many others.
Two years in the making, the Northend Greenway is second on a five-year priority list of projects identified in the City of Harrisonburg’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. “The City is committed to making similar projects shovel-ready to take advantage of future funding as sources like this grant become available,” Carter explains.
Next steps for the Northend Greenway include attractive signage to help residents and potential donors better visualize the new trail’s potential. Groundbreaking for trail construction is slated for fall 2013 once 75% of the funding is raised for the $1.3 million project.
The trail route is adjacent to Blacks Run, a polluted stream that eventually flows into the Shenandoah River and the Chesapeake Bay. Stream restoration efforts are an important component made possible by volunteer labor and a public education campaign.
The Northend Greenway will be a path connecting people and the places they want to go, a strategically located linear park, and a prototype of a high-caliber multi-modal transportation network for Harrisonburg.
MillionMile Greenway helps communities create or expand trail and greenway initiatives by providing micro-grants and technical and marketing assistance. In addition to the City of Harrisonburg, MillionMile Greenway assists other northern Virginia communities including Spotsylvania County, Fauquier County and the Town of Warrenton.
To schedule interviews or request photos, please contact Suzi Carter at Northend Greenway – 540-810-7667 or email@example.com
Media contact for MillionMile Greenway: Lisa Frank – 404-255-8567 or firstname.lastname@example.org