Urgent Action Alert: Greenways

Dear Mecklenburg County Residents,

I’m writing to ask for five minutes of your time today.

Because the extent to which Mecklenburg County’s greenways will grow next over the next five years will be determined in a matter of days, and you can make a difference — if you act now.

This Tuesday the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners will vote on the county’s budget for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1 (three weeks from today). They will be also be voting on the five-year capital budget for fiscal years 2019 – 2023.

I urge you to contact your County Commissioners today to affirm your support for completing the remaining greenway projects in the 2008 Greenway Master Plan within the next five years by including the funds needed in these budgets.

Click here to view the letter we sent them.

In 2008, Mecklenburg County voters approved a $250M bond package to fund the 10-Year Greenway Master Plan (2008 – 2018).

Shortly after that vote, however, due to the recession, funding for Park and Recreation was slashed, and we lost significant momentum in building the greenway system called for in this plan.

Now, almost 10 years later, the County is experiencing tremendous growth to the tune of 50 new residents per day. Tax revenue is growing accordingly. But the uncompleted projects in our 10-Year Greenway Master Plan remain unfunded.

There has been tremendous excitement over the Cross-Charlotte Trail but even that project is unfinished and has lasted more than a decade. Greenways require funding for planning as well as land acquisition. As our population continues to grow, land will only get more expensive.

We have a terrific opportunity right now to create a connected greenway system that will provide important recreation opportunities, spur economic development, increase property values, and provide more safe ways to travel by foot and bicycle.

This year our park system was ranked an embarrassing 97th out of the 100 largest metro park systems in the nation due largely to the low percentage of residents within a ten-minute walk of a park and our low investment in parks and greenways per resident compared to other metro areas.

The Park and Recreation Board of Commissioners has recommended to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners that an additional $7M per year be added to the budget to help complete the 2008 Master Plan.

Please let those who represent YOU know today that completing our overdue greenway plan is important and additional funds must be allocated now.

Here are their email addresses (just copy and paste):

George.Dunlap@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, wjames@carolina.rr.com, Matthew.Ridenhour@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, Dumont.Clarke@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, Patricia.Cotham@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, jim.puckett@mecklenburgcountync.gov, Trevor.Fuller@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, Ella.Scarborough@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov, dena.diorio@mecklenburgcountync.gov, Vilma.Leake@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov

Thank you in advance for speaking up,

Shannon Binns
Founder + Executive Director
Sustain Charlotte

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