|Posted by Anne Siren on February 1, 2013 at 1:45 PM|
. . . Already attracting walkers and cyclists
Oakland Park – Residents in the far western reaches of Oakland Park now have a new place to go for a peaceful walk or bike ride.
It’s the recently completed Northwest 39 Street Greenway, just west of the city’s fire station off Northwest 21 Avenue.
The public is invited to an official ribbon cutting at the greenway at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9.
But many area residents haven’t waited for the opening. “It’s used all the time. Even while we were building it, residents were riding their bikes and walking their dogs on it,” said John Perez, project manager.
The walkway consists of 6,550 linear feet of pathway with paths on the north and south sides of the C-13 Canal.
“It’s a great place for residents on the west side of town to go, something to use,” Perez said. “When the trees are larger, they will have a nice covered area. It will be a useful, functional area.”
Perez said a bridge will be built on the west side, connecting the area to the nearby Veterans Park, which has two decks for fishing.
The walkway was built with a $728,000 grant from Florida Department of Transportation and $33,000 in city funds.
Following the ribbon cutting, Oakland Park Mayor Anne Sallee will lead a walk along the greenway. Charles Livio, city horticulturist, will explain the advantages of planting native vegetation and explain how this project will help attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife.
Livio said the area was previously “real desert,” an empty barren area.
He said many interesting native trees have been planted, including live oaks, slash pine, cabbage palms, bald cypress, silver buttonwood, orange dagger and a paradise tree.
Native shrubs include American beauty berry, cocoplum, bloodberry, Indian hawthorne and some small ground covers, including holly and muhly grass. Some beds of wildflowers are just germinating now.
“It’s very exciting. The area is already used by people biking, jogging and walking,” Livio said.