The Union Recorder

Editorials

April 9, 2014

The Oconee River Greenway is a privilege and a responsibility

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Oconee River Greenway has a new and safer entranceway and an effort is underway to get the message across to visitors.

The expansion underway through Phase 2 of the greenway project provides access to more of the Oconee River for visitors to enjoy, but that access comes with a level of responsibility to which we should all adhere. Visitors need to remember to care for this resource with proper stewardship so the Oconee River Greenway remains safe and cared for.

The old Hancock Street entrance is officially closed now that the new entranceway is open, part of the latest developments in the Phase 2 greenway extension. The extended driveway at Greene Street is one of the new features in the latest phase of the Greenway expansion, providing a safer entrance to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

But some visitors are frequently parking on the grass between the river bridge and the boat ramp, causing damage to the area not to mention disrespecting the tranquility of this natural corridor. Another issue is visitors entering the new area construction, which has not yet been completed.

The next phase of the Oconee River Greenway won’t officially open until next month, on May 17. Visitors are urged not to enter the new section until its finished for safety concerns.

If the issues persist, Greenway officials say they’ll consider citing offenders, utilizing Milledgeville and Georgia Military College police — and rightfully so.

The Greenway Phase 2 expansion has been a tremendous undertaking many months in the making, and as it nears completion it’s only right that we all take responsibility as citizens in caring for this natural feature that adds tremendously to the beauty of Baldwin County.

This extension of the greenway goes a long way in furthering the Oconee River Greenway Authority’s mission in connecting the community through greenspaces. Phase 2 includes one mile of 10-foot concrete trails north of the river bridge, a boardwalk over Phase 1 wetlands, overlooks, a dog park featuring fountains, dog stations and picnic tables, and a more permanent concert stage, all features that will add to the Greenway as a regional tourism draw and enhance the quality of life for Baldwin County. Total construction costs hover around $1.3 million.

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