The Center for the Environment was instrumental in the development of the Salisbury Greenway System, which is maintained for active recreation and modes of transportation other than the automobile.
In the 15-plus years that the city has been developing this greenway system, it has become evident to more and more people that it is critically important to develop systems within communities that allow us to move without the use of cars. Rising fuel prices, increased ozone and particulate matter from auto exhaust, and even effects on climate change make us realize that we must create ways to lessen the use of automobiles.
We need to carefully consider how we develop a community that makes it more walkable, bicycle-friendly and welcoming for other recreational activities like running and roller blading. Greenways like the one in Salisbury allow us to move in communities and provide for the more active and environmentally conscientious population that we see emerging. On the greenway you can clearly enjoy active recreation. We have also tried to design it in a way that allows you to enjoy different aspects of both the built and natural environments. We have taken the Catawba College Ecological Preserve all the way to the edge of the greenway where we have a small dam and natural areas; at the same time, we have amenities like the covered bridge that provide a pleasing place to stand and peer at the water that is flowing past. From the greenway we move further into the city of Salisbury where we can take sidewalks that allow us to continue our movement through the city and into a built environment that is pedestrian-friendly – an important part of any community that wants to lower its impact on the environment.
The Salisbury Greenway provides connections between recreational areas, parks and natural areas. Through its construction of the greenway, the Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department fulfills its mission to provide “quality leisure services through safe, attractively maintained parks and diversified programs that meet the current and future needs of the community. The Forest Hill Park, located along the greenway, is a 9.4-acre park that is conveniently located and provides a greenway connector between Memorial Park and Knox Middle and Overton Elementary schools. The connector features an attractive bridge with inviting walking and sitting areas. The City of Salisbury is well on its way to achieving this goal but still has a few sections that still need to be completed in order to finish the loop such as the connection between Prescott Drive and Grant’s Creek section, which will also connect back to Kelsey Scott Park.