Groundbreaking for New Canoe Launch and Cahaba River-Walk Trail Improvements

Cahaba Medical Care announces new canoe launch and trail revitalization project beginning for 2019.

Dr. John Waits
Dr. John Waits, CEO of Cahaba Medical Care

“In 2017, Cahaba Medical Care (CMC) took the lead on a collaborative effort to rebuild a walking trail in Bibb County that would provide better access to the Cahaba River in addition to promoting walking and exercise. Working in close partnership with the City of Centreville, the Bibb County Board of Education, Bibb Medical Center and the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, CMC was able to secure a Recreational Trails grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to renovate and expand the Centreville Walking Trail and to install a safe, sustainable canoe launch and scenic lookout with handicap accessibility.

Designed to be ultra low-impact, the canoe launch/scenic lookout will be an elevated structure constructed of galvanized steel located on the river bank to the right of the walking trail, approximately 200 feet north of the Bibb County Chamber of Commerce. It will sit just above the bank slope surface using pilings to minimize bank disturbance.

Map of new project plan for canoe launch and improvements at Centreville's Cahaba River Walk Park
Map of new project plan for canoe launch and improvements at Centreville’s Cahaba River Walk Park

The canoe launch will provide a safe, durable and environmentally sustainable access point in Centreville, giving both residents and visitors a place to enjoy the Cahaba River. The access point is being developed as part of the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development’s (UACED) Cahaba Blueway initiative, a program designed to remove the informational and physical barriers that currently prevent people from experiencing the Cahaba by promoting sustainable development for recreational access. The Cahaba Blueway has created guidelines for developing river access infrastructure, as well as recognizable and marketable branding and standardized signage that communities can use when constructing their own access points along the river. The signs will provide important and easy-to-understand location and safety information that enables visitors to have a more enjoyable experience.

(L-R) Brian Rushing UA, Dr. John Waits Cahaba Medical, Dr. Lacy Smith Cahaba Medical, Mayor Terry Morton, Patricia Cade Cahaba Medical, LaTonya Scott Cahaba River Society, Supt. Duane McGee, Jami Carlee Bibb Medical Center

These collaborative efforts for CMC have only just began, as the organization is now working to generate additional support and raise the funds needed to successfully complete the desired construction and beautification of the Cahaba River Walking Trail. Although the project is partially funded by the grant from ADECA, CMC is required by the state of Alabama to provide match funding for 20 percent of the grant amount. Additionally, the river bank along the current walking trail has experienced extensive erosion over the past several months, causing changes to the scope of work for the project along with a significant increase in total costs. Due to these scope and budget changes, the project has been divided into phases. The first phase, scheduled for completion in Spring 2019, includes construction of the canoe launch/scenic lookout and loading/unloading area, improvements and handicap accessibility to both ends of the walking trail, and aesthetic improvements.

The new walking trail and access point will not only improve quality of life in the Centreville and Brent communities by promoting exercise and enhancing access to green space – it will also have a great economic impact and lead to better conservation outcomes for one of the most biologically diverse and beautiful rivers in North America. Cahaba Medical Care hopes that local residents, outdoor enthusiasts and those with a shared passion for the Cahaba River will consider giving to this worthwhile project so that everyone can continue to enjoy this beautiful and unique natural resource for generations to come!

To support this project, please visit .”

— Cahaba Medical Care Press Release



SOURCEThe Bibb Voice
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A father, creative professional, and an alumnus of Bibb County High School, Jeremy has found his way back to Centreville after many years away. He studied Finance and Economics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and almost a decade ago left the "normal" business world for audio and video production. A freelance writer, photographer, sound engineer, and film and video producer/director/editor, his work has appeared online for Southern Living, People, Health, Food & Wine, Sports Illustrated, Cooking Light, It's a Southern Thing, and This Is Alabama, as well as for independent musicians and filmmakers across Alabama.