Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Greenways Field Lab

(Authored by Bob Pinkston)On Tuesday, March 10, the Forest Recreation class had the opportunity to visit with Tim Plowman, Waynesville Recreation Department Coordinator, and Dave Dudek, former HCC Fish & Wildlife Instructor, at the Richland Creek Greenway trail head at Lake Junaluska. Tim and Dave have been the primary reason this greenway is where it is today. Both have put in extremely long hours in 15 plus years to develop this preliminary stage of the greenway. The students in Bob Pinkston's Forest Recreation class learned how difficult a recreation project can be when working with many agencies and partnerships to raise money, acquire easements, and fill out mountains of paperwork for environmental permits to get a greenway established. After spending the first half of the semester learning about federal and state agencies the offer recreation sites for public use, we are now looking at local government involvement to offer recreation areas for it's citizens. Greenways not only offer recreation trails, they protect the resource of waterways and give a movement corridor and provide habitat to many wildlife species. These areas also give the public an opportunity to learn about environmental issues that arise in these sensitive habitats. The class had to do a presentation at each area that had signs to educate people about a particular site. Public speaking and environmental education is an important part of this class to prepare the students for recreation jobs in all the areas of government as well as private recreation areas. We will be coordinating work with the Waynesville Recreation Department to upkeep and continue trail development at this greenway. Many thanks to Tim and Dave for all their efforts in providing Haywood County with this wonderful greenway and teaching our students what an undertaking this can be just to provide recreation for public use.

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