News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013
GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's a trail Larry Mitchum has walked thousands of times.
"Get up in the morning, it's cool, my dog and I can walk, jog," he said.
In fact, he does this walk three times a day.
"It's a good place to exercise, good place to see nature, and there's a lot of it," said Mitchum. "The longer, the better, that's how I look at it."
And in just 10 months, he'll be getting in a lot more miles. The county will extend the greenway another two and a half miles.
Just a small piece of a bigger $20 million project, and Barry Smith is in charge of all of it.
"This greenway will be from Riverside Park all the way to the existing Grovetown Trail," said Smith.
He showed News 12 just where the trail would be, running along side of several neighborhoods.
"Statistically, greenways promote healthy activity, good people, and crime is very very low on a greenway," he said.
That's been a selling point for developers. They've even donated land to the county, and in return, they get a little piece of nature right in their backyard.
"It's a great thing to market in neighborhoods to give that touch with nature, good exercise, great recreation," Smith said.
It's everything Mitchum says he wants right in his backyard, and he says it's more than just for looks.
"When you're talking about being healthy, keeping safety going, how do you put a price tag on that, 20 million, 50 million, 100 million, you know, I don't think you can," said Mitchum.
Columbia County officials say the time frame for phase two should be around 10 months for construction.
The current prototype of the greenway is located in Canterbury Farms in Grovetown. There is a 2,000-foot walkway that reflects what the entire greenway will look like when all construction is done.