The Riverwalk trail is now fully repaired, the overlook and canoe launch are complete, and the whole park is now open for use. There will soon be a ribbon cutting formal grand re-opening, but as far as the public is concerned it’s summer and time to hit the river. And it’s all great!
The trail is paved smoothly, is mostly in the shade, and has a clean freshness to it that goes well with the spring and summer bright sunny days we’re having now. The overlook is solidly constructed and easily accessible. The canoe launch, which is integrated into overlook stairs is simple genius. I’m assuming the best way to get your canoe or kayak to the water would be walking down the stairs holding onto it, while it slides down the cradle of rails that run parallel to the stairs. There are two tiers of stairs and rails, with the set closest to the bottom delivering people and boats directly into the water at a calm spot.
If you remember, there was a clay shoot fundraiser planned for the end of April. According to Courtney Allen, Community Development Coordinator at Cahaba Medical, they simply didn’t get enough people signing up to make it a profitable fundraiser, so it has been postponed until the fall. “Hopefully we can get more people interested by then,” she said.
The folks at Cahaba Medical Care have spearheaded the effort to get the park improvements done, and partnered with Cahaba Blueway to help drive interest and traffic from out of town sources as well, making the canoe launches at Centreville and West Blocton (in the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge) part of the Blueway project that extends the length of the Cahaba River. With enough support, the launch sites in Bibb County could provide an economic boost to the community. Support has come, just not quite enough it seems.
The Riverwalk Park improvements in total were a roughly $200,000 project. According to Carl Kennedy, Chief Financial Officer of Cahaba Medical Care, funding has fallen approximately $50,000 short of that price tag. Mr. Kennedy had this to say:
“We’re not done yet. We’re getting lots of corporate sponsorship, we just haven’t seen a lot from individuals yet. We’re confident it will get there, though.”
If you’re able to help out, and would like to, give Courtney Allen a call. Whether it’s a direct donation or interest in the currently postponed (dates to be determined) clay shoot, the support would be appreciated. Visit the newly renovated Cahaba Riverwalk Park if you need inspiration or motivation to donate, or if you just need to relax. Just don’t forget to take your garbage with you when you leave.