The Town of Chapel Hill passed a resolution accepting a greenway easement between Bolinwood Drive and the Chapel Hill Police Department at its April 10 meeting.
The resolution requires reconstruction on part of a trail that was especially damaged due to flooding from Hurricane Fran. The Town plans to not only relocate the trail, but also expand the easement from 15 feet wide to 50 feet. The trail would be moved to the coal-ash area east of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Different projects involving the creek have sparked controversy before, including the initial plan by the Town of Carrboro to build a greenway through the forest.
Charlie Morris, producer of the documentary "Bolin Creek Unpaved: Saving Carrboro’s Last Forest," said it was necessary to look after the area.
“It was pretty much the jewel, the green jewel of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. A lot of people felt like it was kind of our own Central Park, but no paving,” Morris said.
Community groups such as Friends of Bolin Creek and Save Bolin Creek have been vocal in making sure that any construction or developments taking place in the area consider the interests of the community. The two groups have focused on preserving the greenery in the area, which they believe has been significantly reduced.
The project, which is being implemented by the Town of Chapel Hill, will look to provide a sewage easement to improve water management.
The Town has worked with Orange Water and Sewer Authority to make the water sources in the creek cleaner. This has been part of an agenda by the Town of Chapel Hill to restore the forest. Together with the developments to the sewage facilities, a new trail could also be developed. According to an analysis by the Town, the provision of a new sanitary sewage easement would make it easier to create new trails.
For many citizens of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, the creek is integral to the fabric of the community and has provided a place where people can spend time outdoors.