County budget needs are vast. But let’s not minimize parks and greenways!

Thank you to the more than 100 people who responded to our action alert and advocated to Mecklenburg County commissioners for Park and Recreation Department funding! Your stories about the importance of greenways struck home with many of the commissioners, as evidenced by their vocal support during Tuesday’s public policy meeting.

Greenway and Charlotte SkylineSpecial thanks to Commissioner Leigh Altman for asking for details about equity greenway segments that were left off the project list, in particular the two planned Irwin Creek segments in west Charlotte. We, too, are anxious to see those segments funded as soon as possible because the neighborhoods have been waiting for decades.

On a bright note, we were delighted to see that Tuckaseegee Rec Center has been added back to the budget list as a project recommended to receive funding.

And big thanks to Commissioner Elaine Powell for pointing out that less than half of Park and Rec’s Capital Improvement Plan budget request is on track to be funded. We can see how difficult it is to balance the county’s needs across departments, especially when it feels like we are constantly playing “catch up.”

We will continue providing you ways to advocate for county leadership to prioritize parks, greenways and equity reinvestments in this budget so all residents can live in a healthy, equitable and connected environment.

As one astute resident said, “Parks and Greenways are, in many ways, great equalizers within the community. People from all socioeconomic backgrounds enjoy them — together, as a community.”