Beaucatcher Greenway Background Information and Advocacy Resouces

The Beaucatcher Greenway project is very important for our community and conflicting information may lead to possible termination or delays of the project. Part of a continuous multi-access corridor the greenway would pass near or through urban neighborhoods, several apartment complexes, connecting to 30 acres of urban forest overlooking the city.  

This issue is likely to be voted on by City Council at the April 12th meeting.

What you can do to help!

  1. Please inform yourself on the project. 
    • Review the information below and visit some of the links that provide additional details.
    • Visit the greenway site.  A walk led by City of Asheville Greenway Committee members will be held on Sunday, April 10th at 4 pm.  Meet at the McCormick Field parking lot.
    • Download an information sheet on the many health benefits of greenways to our community.
  2. Show your support.
  3. If you are part of an organization and feel you can get behind this, we'd like to add your name to a list of supporting organizations.  If you can take that step, email the Asheville Parks and Greenways Foundation at with a simple statement that you support moving forward to complete the greenway.  Or you can attache a simple letter of support on letterhead.

Why support Beaucatcher Greenway? 
There is ample evidence that greenways can increase physical activity and have a positive impact on obesity, chronic disease and mental health. These linear parks provide safe and accessible corridors for physical activity, recreation and transportation.

Buncombe County’s 2015 Community Health Assessment (CHA) identified decreasing obesity and related chronic disease as priorities.  Data from the CHA found that:
  • only 37.5 % of adults in our community are at a healthy weight.  Children are doing a little better with 62-63 % at a healthy weight. 
  • Currently 54% of adults get the exercise they need for a healthy lifestyle and about 1 in 5 describe themselves as physically inactive, getting no physical activity.  We've seen very little movement in this status.  If anything they are trending in the wrong direction.
  • Diabetes mortality has worsened over the past 8 years.
Support for greenways aligns with Buncombe’s Community Health Improvement Process for 2016-2018 working toward the result that: All ages have the opportunity to eat healthy, be active and better manage disease emphasizing that access to safe transportation and recreation plays an important role in addressing these conditions.

Beaucatcher Greenway is part of a broader greenways system that is designed to provide safe transportation corridors with connections to sidewalks, bikeways or transit routes.  Thus, in addition to providing an attractive space to walk and bike for exercise, transportation becomes active and provides incidental exercise.  
As biking and walking are used for transportation, greenways help to reduce cars on the road, reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to respiratory disease as well as damage the environment.  Separated spaces for walking and biking reduce accidents and the stress associated with traffic and driving.

Across the country, park access is inequitably distributed in more wealthy communities; and persons of lower educational background, lower socioeconomic status, and minorities are less likely to meet recommended goals for physical activity. 
Census data in Asheville shows that Census Tract 9, adjacent to the proposed Beaucatcher Greenway, is one of the most disadvantaged areas in the city.
  • Fifty-two percent of residents live in poverty, with a median income $18K and 24% unemployment.
  • The majority of those living in the community are African American (59 %). 
  • Thirty percent do not own a car.

Key Points to Remember

When people have access to parks,  including linear parks like greenways, they are more likely to exercise, reducing obesity and physical inactivity and related diseases
  • Psychological health can be improved by exposure to nature in parks, gardens and natural areas
  • Social ties are stronger in communities with access to green common spaces
  • Communities with car-dependent designs have an equivalent effect on health as aging 4 years
  • Our highly sedentary lifestyles make it difficult to incorporate exercise in our lifestyles outside of intentional physical activity.  Walking or biking for errands near home helps incorporate exercise into daily activity, which requires less motivation and is more likely to be adhered to than a dedicated exercise program
  • Parks provide opportunity for play, which is critical in development of muscle strength, coordination, language and cognitive abilities for children
  • CDC data show that Americans living in the South are less likely to be physically active than those in other regions of the country
  • CDC estimates that a difference of 100 calories of exercise per person per day would eliminate the nations’ obesity epidemic – which is the equivalent of 20 min walking daily

Find out more

For an overview of the Beaucatcher Greenway project

For information on the Asheville Greenways Master plan:

A tour of the greenway will take place on Sunday, April 10th at 4:00.  Meet in the parking lot at McCormick Field. For questions contact

Provide input!

Visit the Beaucatcher Greenway comment section on Open City Hall,  a new tool to provide input for the City of Asheville.
NOTE: THIS SITE IS NOW CLOSED for comments.  You may still contact City Council members by email.  Email addresses can be found at

If you wish to express your support you may sign Buncombe County Parks and Greenways Foundation’s Petition (note, there is also a petition circulating in the community in opposition to Beaucatcher):

Show up!

A public comment period on the Beaucatcher Greenway will take place before the Asheville City Council meeting on April 12th.  To provide comment, you will need to sign-in. Comments are limited to 3 minutes unless you are commenting on behalf of others present, in which you be will allowed 10 minutes. 

Download a handout with this information that you can share!

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