Homewood plans to extend Shades Creek Greenway in 2022

Homewood
Phase 2 of the Shades Creek Greenway. Rendering via GMC

Homewood is extending the popular Shades Creek Greenway.

Made possible by Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Funding from the Alabama Department of Transportation and the city of Homewood, the new trail will add 1.3 miles to the greenway.

Phase 2

Homewood
Homewood City Hall. Photo via city of Homewood government Facebook page

“The city of Homewood is extremely excited to finally be moving forward with Phase 2 of the Shades Creek Greenway project,” Homewood Mayor Patrick McClusky told Bham Now. “This extension will be on the west side of Green Springs Highway and will connect Homewood to Birmingham on the west side. This will essentially allow residents to have a safe pedestrian passage all the way from Wildwood to the Jemison Trail via the Greenway. It’s very exciting, and we have plans to bid this project out in early 2022.”

100,000 Visitors a Year

The Shades Crest Greenway has been two decades in the making. 

Some fun “trail facts” about the greenway:

  • Over 100,000 people walk and cycle the trail each year.
  • The trail at Columbiana Road used to be under water with a lake (Bham Now wrote about this in 2018).  There was once a race track around the lake and a large pavilion where people visited via a streetcar on Broadway Street.  
  • The Friends of Shades Creek and the Homewood Environmental Commission plant hundreds of native tree seedlings along the trail each year for creek bank stabilization tree canopy restoration.  

“After 20 years Shades Creek Greenway has become an integral part of life in Homewood,” said Jane Reed Ross, a Homewood resident and landscape architect for GMC who designed phase one and did the master for the greenway. “It is hard to imagine our city without this linear park to walk and ride and experience the beautiful landscape with the creek, trees and wildlife.  The next phase will connect West Homewood with Shades Creek and East Homewood for the first time.  Shades Creek behind Wildwood is one of the loveliest spots in the city and most do not have access to experience it at the moment.  That is about to change.”

Homewood
Jane’s family mapping out the proposed trail behind Wildwood in 2003. Photo via Jane Reed Ross

Trails, Trails, Trails

2022 is going to be a busy year for trail building in the Birmingham metro area. Along with the extension of the Shades Creek Greenway, presently the Freshwater Land Trust Jones Valley Trail Extension is on track to open before the The World Games. Last week, Shelby County announced the creation of the Dunnavant Valley Greenway Extension.  

And of course, the Freshwater Land Trust Red Rock Trail System continues to grow.

What’s next? Stay tuned.

Do you have a favorite greenway in the Birmingham area? Tell us by tagging us at Bham Now on social media.

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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