If you want to learn a little more about nature, history, local culture and the importance of philanthropy, pull up a chair with R.G., Charlie and Graham for a few hours. You’ll learn a lot about Wilkes County and the Yadkin River, while being highly entertained along the way. R.G. Absher is executive director with the Yadkin River Greenway Council and Charlie White and Graham Wyche are on its board of directors.
The Yadkin River Greenway Council, a nonprofit community organization, provided the leadership that moved the Yadkin River Greenway from dream to reality. The Greenway is located in Wilkes County and is a natural area between urban communities where wildlife, vegetation and streams are preserved and transportation, recreation and exercise is enjoyed.
In today’s world of quarantines and stay-at-home work and school, the Greenway has seen a lot of use. “The Greenway is a wonderful place to social distance,” R.G. proudly shares, “it is a place where we can recreate safely and be able to stay outdoors.” In addition to improved health and physical activity, connecting city parks with towns and neighborhoods has a good impact on economy and tourism. The Yadkin River Greenway Council has initiated partnerships among townships and a collaboration with the National Park Service.
If you want to learn more about Yadkin River’s participation in the Revolutionary War, its intersection with the life of Daniel Boone, or the development of NASCAR, or if you would like to explore the Mountains to the Sea Trail or take a virtual hike, check out their website at yadkinrivergreenway.com.
Behind the scenes, R.G., Charlie, and Graham have been very strategic in the growth and support of the Greenway. Golf tournaments, turtle regattas, bluebird box sponsorships, Friends of the Greenway promotion and an endowment with the North Carolina Community Foundation have all contributed to the ongoing success. In fact, they have seen their endowment grow five times over in the past two years: “We have a lot of moving pieces, grantmaking and income sources, “ Charlie explains, “But the most important thing is when I talk to people – I run into people enjoying the Greenway and I say ‘do you want to do something big? You can donate to the endowment to make sure this Greenway lasts forever’.”
If you are inspired to contribute to this natural heritage, visit this page. As the mission of the Yadkin River Greenway Council describes, its mission is to “enhance the quality of life by ensuring the creation of a riverside greenway that connects the major institutions and neighborhoods of our community."