The second annual Round Up for the Greenway campaign to benefit the Middle Fork Greenway aims to grow upon its inaugural success with a new goal of $200,000 raised from over 136 local businesses and counting.

In the month of July, those businesses will ask customers to round up their purchases to the next dollar amount, with the difference going to the Middle Fork Greenway – a planned 6.5 mile trail that will eventually link Boone to Blowing Rock. Local nonprofit Blue Ridge Conservancy is the parent organization of the Middle Fork Greenway.

The money raised will be used to help the Middle Fork Greenway and its executive director Wendy Patoprsty apply for and receive grants to push the project closer to its $12 million goal to fund construction.

“During July of 2018, 111 local businesses raised $113,000,” Patoprsty said. “This money was able to leverage over $1 million in grants. With these funds the next 0.75 miles are getting ‘construction ready’ and will go to bid in 2019.”

According to Patoprsty, construction of the trailhead in Blowing Rock is scheduled for “summer-fall of 2019,” and construction of the 1.3-mile Section 1 from Blowing Rock to Chestnut Ridge is slated for 2020.

Section 4B, from Tweetsie Railroad to Gold Mine Branch Park, is the main focus of the Greenway, Patoprsty previously said. Section 4A from Sterling Creek Park to Tweetsie has been completed.

The Round Up for the Greenway campaign began with a kickoff event at Blowing Rock Brewing Company on Friday, June 14, with the release of the Middle Fork Greenway IPA (Improving People’s Access), a single malt and single hop style IPA.

“One of the highlights of the kickoff was an anonymous donor said they would match up to $1,000 raised on Friday, and we did it,” Patoprsty stated. “So we are already $2,000 closer toward our $200,000 goal.”

Round Up for the Greenway ends with a check dropoff on Wednesday, Aug. 14 from 5-7 pm at Mystery Hill, where participants can take part in the new tomahawk throwing station.

Businesses interested in taking part should contact Patoprsty at (828) 264-2511 or by email at Wendy@BlueRidgeConservancy.org. For more information about the Middle Fork Greenway, visit www.middleforkgreenway.org.

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