Charlotte, NC – It’s the most prominent section of Charlotte’s most prominent creek. And the public is invited to celebrate the completion of the Little Sugar Creek stream restoration and greenway project from Charlottetowne Avenue to Morehead street.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Fountain near Kings Drive between Pearl Park Way and Morehead Street
The project 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 late 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 the creek’s natural curving path and added pollution-removing wetlands and lush native plants to the newly-stabilized and sculptured banks. Stream restoration improves water quality in the creek.
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation built more than 3,150 linear feet of paved trail along the restored stream. Graceful fountains surrounded by rounded plazas, a visitor’s kiosk and an elegant clock tower are special features of the new greenway. Park benches, an arched pedestrian bridge, and granite carvings make this promenade a great place to relax, to connect with nature, or to access Center City.
“Little Sugar Creek flows through the heart of Charlotte, and this signature spot will become the heartbeat of our community” said Dave Canaan with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services. “This project proves it’s not too late to fix the problems caused by years of pollution, neglect and unwise development.”
“Creating a community treasure” is how Gwen Cook of Park and Recreation describes the stream restoration and greenway project. “We’ve gone from a gray way to a greenway.” The Little Sugar Creek Greenway trail links neighborhoods, schools, CPCC, a hospital and parks. Eventually, the trail will extend 15 miles along Little Sugar Creek from above NoDa in north Charlotte to the South Carolina line in Pineville.
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.