By Emma Castleberry
The Estatoe Trail, often referred to as the Brevard Bike Trail or Brevard Greenway, is being expanded to include Brevard’s Rosenwald community. The existing trail starts at the Davidson River Campground and ends at McLean Street in Brevard. A new portion of the trail is currently under construction from McLean Street to Main Street, and a recent grant award will allow the city to complete the next section of the trail, extending from Main Street to the site of the Mary C. Jenkins Community Center (MCJCC).
Ultimately, the Estatoe Trail will be an extensive greenway network that provides pedestrians and bikers with access around Brevard and from the city to the Davidson River Campground and Bracken Mountain Preserve. The large project has been broken down into prioritized sections. Funding and easements are not in place for later portions of the greenway system, but the city is now prepared to break ground on the section that will connect Rosenwald to the existing greenway.
This spring, Pisgah Health Foundation awarded a $240,000 grant to the city for this new section of the greenway. Conserving Carolina wrote the grant application for these funds, and also wrote a grant in 2018 that secured funding from the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund for several segments of the Estatoe Trail. “Greenways are a priority for Conserving Carolina because they bring the benefits of conservation close to home for more people,” says Kieran Roe, executive director of Conserving Carolina. “Greenways provide places for us to connect with nature, get exercise and release stress.”
The MCJCC Board and the City of Brevard are working together to reopen the doors of the historic MCJCC, which is located at the terminus of this recently funded section of the trail. “It was an important central hub in the past and we envision that it will be that once again in the near future,” says Nicola Karesh, a community liaison for Rosenwald. “From the moment that the trail enters historic Rosenwald, journeying through until it departs at some other end, we envision an experience that will be steeped in unique culture, community and vibrant black history.”
For more information about Conserving Carolina, visit ConservingCarolina.org.