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4/17/2012
Charlotte, NC- Mecklenburg County residents can now walk, bike or jog on a paved path from CPCC to the Park Road Shopping Center. The entire urban section of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway is now finished! The public is invited to celebrate the grand opening of the trail which also hugs a newly-restored stream—reshaped, restored, revitalized for cleaner water and diverse aquatic life.

Friday, April 20, 2012
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
At the “Captain Jack” Statue
Corner of Kings Drive and 4th Street
See map for media parking

The transformation has been in the works for more than a decade starting with Mecklenburg County’s purchase of more than a dozen businesses in the floodplain in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. For nearly 50 years, that part of Little Sugar Creek was hidden under a shopping center parking lot that stretched the length of three football fields.

The parking lot was removed in 2007, “daylighting” the long-neglected stream. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services restored approximately one mile of the creek’s natural curving path. Lush native plants were added to the newly-stabilized and sculptured banks, and pollution-removing wetlands were added to the adjacent floodplain.

“This project is a big effort in the recovery of Little Sugar Creek,” said Crystal Taylor, project manager for Storm Water Services. “Historically, this creek was the most polluted in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The water quality will improve over time as nature returns to the restored stream and floodplain.”

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation built more than 6,336 linear feet of paved trail along the restored stream. Graceful fountains surrounded by rounded plazas, a kiosk for refreshments and an elegant clock tower are special features of the new greenway. Park benches, an arched pedestrian bridge, and public and private art make this promenade a great place to relax, to connect with nature, or to access Center City.

“The completion of the urban section of Little Sugar Creek Greenway is a huge milestone for this community,” said Gwen Cook, greenway planner for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. “This goes a long way in the revitalization of ‘green space’ in uptown Charlotte and improving connectivity between places of work, living and play.”

Funding for the stream restoration and greenway project came from Mecklenburg County Land Bonds, Charlotte-Mecklenburg storm water fees, state grants, and Mecklenburg County property taxes.