Since 2008, the 1.2 miles of Stewart Creek Greenway has woven its way through the Historic West End. It provides residents and visitors with an outlet that creates connectivity and improves the walkability of the neighborhood. Katie Lloyd, a planner for the Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation Department, shared “We think it’s a great section of greenway that connects a lot of park facilities and Uptown.”
That connectivity is one benefit that the greenway brings to the Historic West End community. Stewart Creek Greenway is connected to two other greenways: Irwin Creek Greenway and Wesley Heights Greenway. This network of greenways creates 2.7 miles of space to walk, run, and bike with a direct link to Uptown Charlotte. Lloyd said, “While there is a distinction between the three greenways, essentially they act as one unit. People are often using all three greenways in one trip.”
Those individuals using the Greenway fall into two categories, recreation and transportation. Lloyd explains, “Recreation is great for people’s health. We see them using it to run, walk, or ride their bike. So, it is a great way to exercise, socialize, and have a good time.” She continued, “The transportation aspect is where the commuters come in. Since it connects all the way into Uptown from the neighborhoods, this greenway is used a good bit for commuting to Uptown.”
he plan is to extend the Stewart Creek Greenway portion of the network into more neighborhoods in the next 3 to 4 years. “We are designing an additional 2.5 miles of Stewart Creek Greenway and Stewart Creek Tributary Greenway. It is going to connect State Street, where the Greenway ends at Blue Blaze Brewing, all the way up to the Lakewood community,” said Lloyd. The extension is in the early phase. Public meetings about the project will start in the coming months.
This extension for Stewart Creek is a part of the Greenway Masterplan that includes over 300 miles of planned greenway throughout the entire county. This greenway is just a small section of the total network. Since this section of greenway connects to a lot of parks and to Uptown, Lloyd said it gets a lot of different users. However, the users are all gaining access to the same benefits.
- The greenway is a free public amenity. No one has to pay to get on the greenway. Anyone is welcomed to come to walk on it and enjoy it.
- The greenway connects to a lot of places. It is an alternative way to get to Uptown Charlotte. It is also connected to the Wallace Pruit Rec Center, Seversville Park, Frazier Park, Martin Luther King Park, Ray’s Splash Planet, Bank of America Stadium, and more.
- The greenway makes the neighborhood walkable and bikeable. It provides a safer alternative for walkers and bike riders heading to the parks or to Uptown. They do not have to go on roads where they will come into contact with cars.
- The greenway provides health benefits. It provides a space for exercising and for playing. Walking, jogging, and biking are welcomed wellness activities that happen on the greenway on a daily basis.
- The greenway provides an economic benefit to the community. There are national studies that show greenways have a positive impact on property values.
The network of greenways that include the Stewart Creek Greenway is a true asset to the Historic West End. To learn more about the greenway visit https://www.mecknc.gov/ParkandRec/Greenways/Pages/default.aspx