Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway, Hendersonville, NC

 Oklawaha Greenway Blog

Recent Greenway notes and observations from our Greenway Scouts.

Monday, July 9, 2018
    From: Johanna, Greenway Scout

Summer
Summer on the Oklawaha Greenway has been a lively one so far this year. Evidence of the annual mud run that takes place along the greenway can still be seen. Although it is quite impressive how little one would actually notice unless they were looking for it. The big indicator would be the mud pit near Berkeley Mills Park. Each morning cottontail rabbits freeze at the sight of runners, walkers, and the like before they dash away into the thicket. A number of turtles have made appearances lately to the delight of my small children. Another new sighting is that of an excavator clearing land near the Main Street bridge which is most likely the beginning of the soon to be, or hopefully soon to be, pedestrian foot bridge crossing Mud Creek. This will be a wonderful addition to the greenway as it will extend access to the other side of the creek.

Friday, June 1, 2018
    From: DogWalkerJay, Greenway Scout

More Rain
I've been away and haven't yet seen the "flooded" greenway, but a friend who runs on the Oklawaha sent me some photos. He said "This is from the small parking area just off Berkeley. That water under the bridge has to be over my head."

Thursday, May 24, 2018
    From: Johanna, Greenway Scout

Drying out
The greenway is mostly clear again! After days of heavy rain, Mud Creek flooded a good portion of the path making it impassable to anyone without a pair of webbed feet. It was striking to see it looking so much like a lake instead of a path. As soon as the waters receded, a brigade of motorized mud scrapers descended and began shoveling and bulldozing heaps of soppy mud off of the path. It took about a day and the greenway was ready to be traveled on. There is a tinge of grey and brown on most of the vegetation and benches. Evidence of a high water line and what a week of rain can do in a flood plain. The pollinator habitats sprinkled along the greenway seem to have faired quite well with all of the rain and even the flooding. Their brilliant colors are just beginning to burst forth with yellow, white, and pink. It is a marvelous sight, and worth maybe a little dirt on the shoes.

Friday, May 11, 2018
    From: Outdoor Katky, Greenway Scout

Riding the Greenway
I am one of the cyclists on the Greenway. I am also a hiker so I know the jolt of fear I feel when a biker surprises me on the trail. That is why I use the four magic words when I ride my bike - “Passing on the left.”
Interrupting the silence and peace of the trail is not something I like to do, but my desire not to crash or hurt someone is stronger. If you don’t like to shout out a warning, consider getting a bell on your bike. That’s what my husband did. Like a bird’s song, the bell signals your presence and you can continue on your way down the path. He has a black one, but you can get them in all colors and designs, smiley faces, flowers, skulls or even in the shape of a hamburger. They’re less than $10 and easy to put on the bike. Be generous and ring them several times when passing.
Sometimes people have their ear buds in and I’m not sure if they hear me, but normally, I get a “thank you” in return for letting walkers know I’m passing them. I also go far into the left lane in case people get confused about what is left and right. So if you ride your bike, warn the walkers, give them a wide berth. They will appreciate it. I guarantee you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
    From: Johanna, Greenway Scout

Observations
Jogging along the greenway this week has been visually stunning. Spring wildflowers are scattered along the banks of mud creek, mostly yellow, with occasional bursts of white and purple. The violet wisteria winding its way through the trees has been a spectacular sight this year. Mud Creek runs along most of the greenway, providing pedestrians with a visual reminder of the recent rainfall—slowly receding for days after the storms. Mud creek touched the top of its banks during both of the previous storms. Fortunately the creek stayed within its banks, sparing pedestrians from the mud that is deposited throughout the floodplain, and allowing the greenway to remain passable. The greenway is bursting with life this week from the buttercups to the finches, wood ducks and Pileated woodpeckers. Nesting birds and frogs are an auditory splendor this time of year. Spring is a remarkable time to be wandering about through the trees and marshes along the path of the Oklawaha Greenway.

Saturday, April 21, 2018
    From: Nature Walker, Greenway Scout

Pollinator Planting on the Greenway
The Hendersonville Tree Board and the Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway celebrated Earth month by planting several hundred pollinators along a 300 foot section of the Greenway. Ten volunteers planted 14 different varieties of native wild flowers, including bee balm, Joe Pye weed, Ironweed, mountain mint and goldenrod between Berkeley Road and and the Berkeley Mills Park Trailhead.
The Tree Board carefully selected plants that will bloom at different times so as to keep butterflies and pollinators fed throughout the summer and early autumn.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
    From: DogWalkerJay, Greenway Scout

Earth Week on the Greenway
Kodiak and I initially went out on the greenway to see what evidence, if any, remained from the weekend's Ville to Ville relay, a small portion of which was run on the Oklawaha Greenway. But there was nothing to see... no litter, no signs, no wear and tear. So kudos to the event organizers and volunteers, and to the City maintenance crew.
Instead we saw beautiful signs of spring such as a mallard enjoying a wet area near the pollinator meadow, bright green grass shooting up from the erosion control matting alongside the trail, native wisteria blooming near the spur trail to Sullivan Park, lots of buttercups and a bright blue sky. We also saw three separate groups working along different parts of the greenway and Mud Creek in honor of Earth Week (this year being celebrated not only on Earth Day but that whole week and even the entire month of April). MountainTrue and others were removing invasive species from the area between the kiosk and the (closed) boardwalk. Canoes from Asheville Greenworks were removing litter and obstructions from Mud Creek, and another small group of volunteers were picking up litter near the Main Street underpass. We were there in the late morning; I expect all these groups had been working for at least a couple of hours by the time we saw them.
My dog was pleased that the blue water stations were in operation — a sure sign that winter has passed, finally. These clever stations offer water bottle filling and drinking fountains for humans and canines.

Thursday, March 29, 2018
    From: RR-CC, Greenway Scout

Ride on the Greenway
Today a group of staff from Conserving Carolina took to the Oklawaha Greenway for an afternoon bike ride. The weather was sunny and cool, and the flora was beginning to show the first signs of spring, making for a beautiful scene. We took off from Jackson Park to Berkeley Mills Park, stopping at three additional parks along the way. We passed people of all ages on leisurely walks and even some furry friends. We spoke to one retired couple who expressed their gratitude for the greenway and the improvements they had seen just in the last year; they use the greenway every day to exercise and walk their dogs. Our entourage also passed by a pair of young parents walking with a toddler and an infant in a stroller, and later, a woman on a run.
Each of our encounters perfectly illustrated the wonderful thing about the greenway; it welcomes individuals, couples and groups of all abilities. It is accessible to wheelchairs, bikes, skates and strollers, and it is open rain or shine. Best of all, it contains a balance of urban and rural. It provides the relief and tranquility of the wilderness without ever feeling far from civilization. If you want a little bit of nature in your exercise routine or simply want to take an easy stroll by streams and forest, the Oklawaha Greenway is for you.

See the video of our ride.

Saturday, March 3, 2018
    From: DogWalkerJay, Greenway Scout

Early Spring on the Greenway
Today was beautiful with sunshine and blue skies, but windy. We walked a total of 4.8 miles, beginning at the Berkeley Mills parking area. At 7th Avenue we turned around and retraced our steps. It's been a while since Kodiak and I were on the Greenway. We saw a lot of new green - grass emerging, shrubs beginning to leaf out - but nothing in bloom yet except a couple of mature trees just north of Main Street. The trail was dry and walkable everywhere we went, but there were areas of standing water off the greenway in the usual places, including one near the pollinator meadow where we saw two mallard ducks. We noticed several places along the trail, especially on the side away from Mud Creek, where the City has installed mulch and grass seed; should look very nice soon. The boardwalk which parallels the spur trail to Patton Park, is still closed and can't be used. Also, the blue water stations are still turned off.

Monday, July 31, 2017
    From: DogWalkerJay, Member, Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway

Seventh Avenue Community Garden
Today my dog and I walked our 5-mile route. It's been a while since we've been on the Greenway, for one reason or another, and I wanted to see what had changed, especially with the pollinator habitats and other plants along the way. It's a beautiful, cool but sunny early summer day. We also visited the Seventh Avenue Community Garden, a short distance off the Oklawaha Greenway via a spur trail. The garden is located on Ashe Street right across from Sullivan Park between Martin and Parkview, tucked between the street and the railroad embankment. It's a community collaboration planted and maintained by residents in the area, and it looked really good today, just like a well-cared-for early summer garden should. Worth a side trip sometime. You can continue on to King Park a short distance away using neighborhood streets. From there, another spur trail rejoins the greenway near 7th Avenue.





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