Ronda discusses greenway expansion

By Troy Brooks -

R.G. Absher presents expansion of the Yadkin River Greenway through Ronda.

Troy Brooks | The Tribune

RONDA — The Ronda Board of Commissioners is being asked to partner on a greenway expansion in the area.

At a town meeting here last week, R.G. Absher with the Yadkin River Greenway held a presentation discussing the growth of the Yadkin River Greenway and the possibility of the town becoming partners with them and expanding the trail through the town.

The Yadkin River Greenway, a nonprofit organization based out of Wilkes County, began work on this greenway construction in 1992.

“The Yadkin River Greenway is planned to someday stretch all the way to Elkin,” said Absher. “More recently, the National Park Service has stepped up to the plate, and they developed a master plan of the Overmountain Victory Trail from Morganton to Lenoir. We have some concepts in their master plan 1,900 miles long session along the river, which would ultimately bring greenways to the communities. We’ve got it broken up in sections.”

Plans are being made to capitalize on drawing attention to the Overmountain Victory Trail and park service. According to Absher, Ronda was a historic location on the Overmountain Victory Trail due to the Roundabout. Colonel Cleveland’s home was located on the big horseshoe bend in the river.

The OverMountain Victory Trail was initiated in 1980 and spans over 330 miles in length with one trail head located in Elkin and another in Abingdon Virginia.

The cost of the master plan came to $40,000 dollars, according to Absher. “When this is completed, there will be a large presentation, and all the communities will participate to come out and see this.”

Much of the opportunities associated with the greenway come from opportunities for tourism, and the recreational trail system would give these communities the potential to become trail towns.

“The bottom line is that other communities that have invested in this have seen economic growth,” said town adviser Ron Niland.

“If Ronda wanted to be a stakeholder in this, willing to invest, you have a key historic site here, the roundabout,” said Absher. “This is a key figure toward the history in this community, which could be an anchor for some historical site exhibits, kiosks, programming and reenactments which can all come back through investments in the community to commemorate and celebrate the historic trail.

“We would love for the town of Ronda to be a partner with us in this venture. We’re looking for $6,000 but any amount would certainly help us finish the job.

There were concerns about how it will affect FEMA in the area as well as the use of private property.

“We don’t see misuse of private property or land along the trail,” said mayor Victor Varela.

“We don’t see disrespect. It’s been a high-quality clientele,” said Absher.

“The opportunity for Ronda to be a player is good and the prospects are good for payment in the investment, said Absher. “Here’s a historic fact you might be familiar with. There’s a tree down here, the old hanging tree down by the bridge, the only hanging tree left in existence from the Revolutionary War. It could be old enough because it’s a sycamore and they grow up to a certain state and the growth rings get very tight. It does represent the hanging site.

Overmoutnain Victory trial is a piece of history that people can connect with and it could die and our youth and future generations would’ be able to learn about this if it wasn’t for the organizations keeping it alive,” said Absher. “The Battle of King’s Mountain was a major turning point in the Revolutionary War.”

There’s a lot of opportunity for economic benefits that can grow the communities stronger, said Mayor. “I saw some kayakers and canoers at a convenience store last week. There’s potential there. It’s not just a greenway.”

In other news, both the agenda and minutes were both passed by the board.

After holding a moment of silence in memory of Sept. 11, 2001, Zane Cooper, a Boy Scout working on his merit badge for communications lead the town council in the pledge of allegiance.

Expenditures were tabled to find out about maintenance costs from last month.

The repairs for Factory Street were approved by the board to divert water on the road. Amendments were made to the budget,

“There was money set aside for street repairs an maintenance,” said Niland. “We were just authorizing the project to spend up to $6,000.”

“Funds will also be coming out of the Powell fund for the project,” said Varela.

The social media policy was passed by the board, with some approved amendments.

The Keeping of Farm Animals and Fowl Ordinance was passed.

Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.

R.G. Absher presents expansion of the Yadkin River Greenway through Ronda. Absher presents expansion of the Yadkin River Greenway through Ronda. Troy Brooks | The Tribune

By Troy Brooks

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