When I hear the word greenway, I immediately think of two different things. One is the mountain trail which I grew up near, running up and down and all through the town. The other thing is the park that was almost directly behind my parent’s house as I grew up. I spent so much time in both locations that I can hardly remember a warm month that I couldn’t be found at one or the other. The one thing I remember the most about both of these areas was the water they had and how much I loved spending time near it.

Obviously, anything around the river will have, well, water. The wonderful thing about this was that the river was not the only water that could be found. In fact, most of the water that I spent my time around was not the river, but a small pond along the trail. My sister’s former boyfriend and I used to take hours and walk around the pond and fish or just enjoy the coolness after a long hike. Although he has since passed on, every time I head up that way I like to go over to that pond. Thankfully, it’s better known now and I see families enjoying it as I once did.

The park I grew up near also had a river. While fishing was not allowed here, it was always a favorite area for kids and dogs to beat some of the summer heat. The park boasted some of the best walking trails in our area and even had a natural spring which developed into a river itself. After a terrible flood, we were all able to watch nature come back to life, which certainly got our science teachers excited. It was a great practical lesson for all of us in school.

If you are near a greenway, see if there is water around. While you may not be able to swim or fish, it can certainly be a wonderful experience for you or any children you know. Even simply observing the difference in ecosystems between land and water can ignite a fascination that may take someone through their entire lives. Nature is wonderful, and here in Gaston County we certainly think the best of it. We hope you do as well.