Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Green ARTery celebration set for Saturday, Sept. 28

TAMPA

Some of the best ideas are borrowed.

Knowing this, the grass roots group behind a 20-mile pedestrian loop known as the Green ARTery invited Ryan Gravel to share his story Saturday at a dinner celebrating the trail.

Gravel was a college student studying abroad in the 1990s, whose daily walk to the market took him under an abandoned elevated railroad in Paris. He was surprised to watch it transform into the Promenade Plantée, an elevated park that later inspired another, the High Line in New York City.

Gravel's master's thesis in Architecture and City Planning from Georgia Tech is the vision behind the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile loop that brings together a modern streetcar and green trails on an old railway corridor.

Urban trails are growing all over, he said, in different conditions and scales, some as short as a mile and others as long as a 52-mile greenbelt along the San Diego River.

"What they share is the ability to transform life for people who live there," Gravel said.

They are all driven by grass roots efforts.

In Tampa, the Green ARTery started two years ago as a combined dream of Lena Young-Green, a retired senior legislative assistant to former state Sen. James Hargett, who lives in Tampa Heights, and Myron Griffin, an interior plantscaper and antique dealer in Hampton Terrace.

The duo imagined linking destinations in Tampa: pocket parks, natural springs, cool green oak canopies and views of Tampa's skyline over the Hillsborough River.

Two years have passed and pieces of the trail are in place. Trail organizers and people who live in the 20 neighborhoods within the loop are celebrating Saturday with games, food, art and groups exploring the trail.

The multiuse trail follows the Hillsborough River from 40th Street to downtown. Then it links with the Riverwalk downtown, before curving around Palmetto Beach to McKay Bay and back up 40th Street.

At conception, many of these trails seem too ambitious.

"What started as a kernel of an idea turned into something we never could have imagined," Gravel said. "We're building a really broad constituent base. That's what's driving it."

The BeltLine has a 2-mile section of trail complete. The streetcar is still in the planning stage.

"In fact, we don't even own the whole loop," Gravel said. "But it has momentum. The public is invested."

Thousands of people came together on the trail this month for the BeltLine Lantern Parade.

Gravel recently took his son biking on the trail. When he got home, he looked at pictures he had taken and noticed a woman in the background carrying groceries.

It is changing the way people live, Gravel said.

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at eparker@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3431.

. If you go

Green ARTery celebration

Starts at 8 a.m. Saturday with a bike rodeo, games and raffles at Fair Oaks Community Center and Carrington Community Park, 5019 N 34th St.

Travel the trail: Groups will leave at 10 a.m. from four points: Fair Oaks Community Center; Sulphur Springs Pool, 701 E Bird St.; Rivercrest Park, 4802 N River Blvd.; and Palmetto Beach, 2617 Corrine St.

Dinner: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Starts with a reception, exhibits and speaker Ryan Gravel at Seminole Heights Garden Center, 5800 N Central Ave.

Tickets: $15. Call (813) 270-5082.

Green ARTery celebration set for Saturday, Sept. 28 09/20/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 20, 2013 6:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]