WJHL.com - Roanoke City secures $5 million to complete greenway project

Roanoke City secures $5 million to complete greenway project

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Roanoke Valley -

A project fifteen years in the making just got the final boost needed as the Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission handed the city a four-hundred-thousand dollar check.

It's something Liz Belcher, the Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission Coordinator has poured her heart into making happen.

"Certainly we are passionate about getting it done," Belcher said.

The greenway project aims to build a network of scenic walking paths through the Roanoke Valley.

To date, 26 miles of Greenways with bicycle and walking trails have been built in this valley.

A trail that's bringing in more green to the city, and to businesses owners cash registers.

Richard Mardian, the owner of Hits Frozen Treats is scooping up every opportunity he can. He even remodeled his ice cream just to accommodate people on the greenway.

 

A move that Mardian says more than paid off.

"Well a big share of our business Friday, Saturday and Sunday we had people from not only Roanoke, but the United States, and even this weekend four foreign countries."

Roanoke City council member Ray Ferris says the greenway is an economic driver and major tourist attraction with a two-fold benefit.

"The greenway is one of the first things that draws them here and it draws their attention. Secondly for the folks who are already here looking for more outdoor sports might not have the time to drive up to hike the Appalachian mountains, but you can certainly jump on the greenway in many places and get some exercise," Ferris said.

A success where the proof is in the numbers. Numbers that Belcher says grows by the day.

 

"You have to go down and see all of the people on the greenway and when you do , you know that this is great and the community loves it."

A success she says has made 15 years worth of fundraising well worth the effort.

For updates on building progress visit Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission's website.

 

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