Environment

National Trails Day: Fan Branch & Morgan Creek Trail Connector Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The public is invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the trail project that connects the Fan Branch and Morgan Creek trails at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 7. The Town of Chapel Hill event coincides with National Trails Day.

The ceremony will take place at the new tunnel under Culbreth Road. The event will be led by Jim Orr, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, with Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Peter Calingaert, chair of the Morgan Creek Trail Concept Plan Committee, and Chris Berndt, chair of the Greenways Commission. A hike to Merritt's Pasture will follow the ceremony.

About the Trail Project

The Morgan Creek Trail Phase 2 project connects the existing Morgan Creek Trail on the north side of Morgan Creek to the existing 1.6 mile long Fan Branch Trail on the south side of Culbreth Road. The $1.5 million project creates the longest paved trail in Orange County at 2.4 miles.

The relatively short section of new trail has big impacts. It includes about 1,000 feet of trail, two bridges, and a pedestrian underpass of Culbreth Road. The southern end is located at the Dogwood Acres Drive parking lot in Southern Community Park, while the northern end is at a parking lot just east of Kingswood Apartments off of highway NC 54. A side trail provides access to the Merritt Pasture open space.

The total land area of Chapel Hill is 21.3 square miles, and about 11 percent is dedicated to parks and open space. The Town is working to complete more than 28 miles of greenways and trails that will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to access every part of town. The Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department provides numerous opportunities for self-enrichment, adventure, fellowship and quiet reflection.

View the Trail Map at tinyurl.com/oywsc2v.

To Attend the Ribbon Cutting

Join the group at the Morgan Creek Trail parking lot off NC 54/Fordham Blvd. at 9:40 a.m. Saturday. The group will walk or bike about a half mile from the parking lot to the site of the ribbon cutting off Culbreth Road. Plan on a 15-minute walk to the ceremony site.

If the Morgan Creek Trail Parking Lot is filled, check for alternative parking in the gravel parking lot across the street from Merritt's Store on South Columbia Street (but please leave by 11:45 a.m. to accommodate their lunch rush) or use the street parking in Southern Village or park at Southern Community Park. If you are walking from the Southern Community Park, allow for about 25 minutes of travel time.

For more information or to receive special assistance, contact Bill Webster, assistant parks and recreation director, at 919-968-2819 or bwebster@townofchapelhill.org.

Date: 

Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 9:40am

Location: 

Morgan Creek Trail parking lot off NC 54/Fordham Blvd

Reducing our Carbon Foot/ Reducing OCSO Fleet Ependitures

 As Sheriff of Orange County I would convert the current Sheriff’s Office fleet to propane auto gas. Fully implemented to the Sheriff’s Office fleet this will save $600,000.00 to $800.000.00 over a period of four years. This extends the vehicle’s oil life reducing oil usage and cost. Propane’s low-emission profile will help the Sheriff’s Office significantly reduce its carbon footprint. Fewer greenhouse gas and CO2 emissions reduce negative health effects from time spent idling at traffic stops, accidents, and crime scenes. “The bottom line is that green is a great thing,” and the best part is, I have found a way to implement this plan at no cost to the citizens of orange county. Andy Cagle

Apply for a Chapel Hill Advisory Board

Over the two years, Chapel Hill has gone through an extensive process to restructure our advisory boards and commissions. The main focus of this work has been to simplify the development review process, and has led to the creation of four major boards that will review development proposals (Planning Commission, Transportation and Connectivity Advisory Board, Environmental Stewardship Advisory Board, and Housing Advisory Board). The town will be making appointments to these four boards this spring, and we need community members to step up and serve to help move our community forward. The town also has a number of vacancies on existing boards that may be filled this spring.

Solid Waste Tax District

Solid Waste Tax District Public Hearing tonight 4/1/14 in Hillsborough.

I attended the public hearing on 3/18. Here are my observations based upon what others have said.

1.       The main problem is that the county had a good funding system which has been called into question. Many speakers supported the fee system and feared that a tax district would cost them more.

2.       People with open land, forest or agricultural land should be using the Present Use Value Program ( and other conservation incentives) so their tax valuation should not be high. The majority of people should pay less in tax than in the old fee since only a relative few have higher assessed properties.

Solarize Carrboro kickoff

Back in October I'd posted about a petition to grow more solar in Carrboro. Thanks to your help, we've worked with the Town of Carrboro and the NC Solar Center to create Solarize Carrboro, a non-profit project making it simple and affordable to go solar now. In our pre-launch period, more than 100 people have signed up for free solar assessments.  Our kickoff event is on Wednesday, April 2, at 7pm in Carrboro Town Hall. You can RSVP on facebook. Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

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