BLOWING ROCK – The second annual Round Up for the Greenway has, to date, raised $182,000, but the fundraiser is still seeking to reach its $200,000 goal.
“At the official check dropoff party held at Mystery Hill on Aug. 16, we realized we fell just short of our goal,” said Middle Fork Greenway Director Wendy Patoprsty. “Luckily, an anonymous donor didn’t want to give up and pledged a $9,000 gift if we could rally the support to raise an additional $9,000 to meet the $200,000 goal. So, there is still time to give and make a huge impact on this project.”
Patoprsty said that while there’s no time limit for raising the funds, ideally the added $9,000 would need to be raised by the end of October.
“What we’re trying to do is leverage this money with some foundations and other grants from the state,” Patoprsty said. “It’s really important to show that we have the money in hand.”
A total of 130 businesses took part in the fundraiser by asking customers during the month of July to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar or give to a donation jar.
“Some businesses gave a percentage of their sales for the month or gave a one-time donation,” the Sept. 30 statement said. “There were also over 50 individuals that donated.”
The funds raised will go toward Section 4B, which goes from Gold Mine Branch Park to Tweetsie Railroad, 0.95 miles in length. In total, Section 4B project will cost roughly $2 million, Patoprsty previously said. Work will begin around April 2020, Patoprsty said.
Section 4A from Sterling Creek Park to Tweetsie has been completed.
Section 1, which goes 1.3 miles from the Blowing Rock Trailhead along U.S. 321 near Shoppes on the Parkway to the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge, will break ground in 2020.
“The Wellness Center has such a unique platform to support local initiatives like the Middle Fork Greenway project,” said Broyhill Wellness Center Member Manager Katie Greene. “With hundreds of community members coming through the doors on a daily basis, we were able to raise awareness and excitement with the July roundup.”
The Blowing Rock Trailhead will have multiple parking spaces, a covered pavilion overlooking the river and a paved sidewalk extending north toward Shoppes on the Parkway. Amenities including bike racks, a custom Charleston Forge bench, signage and more.
Patoprsty said that the plan is to have the trailhead done this fall with a ribbon cutting, but said the contractors are waiting on trees due to the recent dry conditions.
“It’s been so dry, nurseries aren’t digging up trees right now,” Patoprsty said.
Once Section 1 and 4 are completed, Patoprsty said the greenway will be halfway done.