By Krista Thiede
If you’re looking for a place to ride your bicycle, walk, or enjoy nature, the Greenville Greenways in Pitt County, N.C., are a good option.
When ECU German Professor Jill Twark moved to Greenville in 2002, she noticed there were nearly no Greenways or bicycle lanes.
“Other cities in which I have lived have many such amenities, so their absence in Greenville was conspicuous to me,” Twark said. “I wanted to start an organization to help rectify what I saw as a city-wide deficiency.”
In 2003, she founded the non-profit organization called Friends of Greenville Greenways (FROGGS). According to the website, the group fosters awareness of the importance of greenways, advocates for their use, and solicits funding for their development and construction within the city of Greenville and Pitt County in North Carolina.
FROGGS has a board that has consistently worked to maintain close relationships with city and county officials by meeting with them every two months to share greenway progress and ideas for improvements.
The FROGGS organization has continued to make appearances at local events, such as Freeboot Fridays, PirateFest and health fairs. They also host an annual “Friendraiser” every spring to raise funds, and give out Greenway information and maps.
ECU student, Emma Caterinicchio, volunteered for FROGGS at their annual fundraiser this year and uses the Greenway at least four times each week.
“They [the greenways] give a good, safe meeting place for people who want to get together,” said Caterinicchio.
There are some expansions in the works, including the installation of a water fountain for people at the entrance to the dog park on the Tar River Greenway, and they are working with the city to set up a kayak-landing place on the Tar River at the base of the Shade Garden.
The progress on Greenway construction is slow, according to Twark. But, FROGGS helps ensure that it is steady.
“We make sure elected officials, city staff, and citizens are always looking ahead to the next plan, the next project, the next groundbreaking, and the next greenway,” said Twark. “The past few years have laid the groundwork for these and other greenways that will open in the coming years.”
If you’re interested in helping the FROGGS organization, you can volunteer at their information table at public events, help maintain the new Shade Garden on the Tar River Greenway across from the Dog Park, join the advisory board, donate money through their website, and/or encourage family and friends to use the Greenway often.
For more information on FROGGS, visit their website at www.froggs.org.