As growth in Charlotte exploded around his west Charlotte neighborhood, Rickey Hall has seen one thing stay the same: a lack of dedicated green space.
He’s been pushing for the expansion of the Irwin Creek Greenway in the West Boulevard corridor for 30 years and hopes Mecklenburg County will fund it this year. But he fears his historically Black neighborhood will be left out of the conversation once again.
Hall, the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition chair, said he’s asked county officials to fund the project every year, and every year he’s been told to wait.
Mecklenburg County staff this week recommended funding $407 million for the county parks and recreation department’s capital project budget. That pays for 35 of the 85 projects proposed by the parks department by 2028, according to the county’s presentation. But it’s not clear whether the Irwin Creek Greenway would be among them.
Shannon Binns, executive director of Sustain Charlotte, said the proposed allocation would cause the county to fall behind on its goal of adding 10 miles of greenway a year. The $407 million would cover 11 greenways and about 4 miles per year.
“We also will remain behind our peer communities, who are building greenways at faster rates,” Binns said in an email to county commissioners. Commissioners face the challenge of balancing a green space needs with dozens of others.