CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The much-anticipated Charleston Gateway Greenspace will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. May 16. A lot has been written and reported about transforming a parking lot into a garden -- it's a beautiful green gem right in the middle of town.
If you haven't had a chance to stroll along the walkways of this lovely spot, visit soon. Take your kids. Add this to your Clay Center experience. Just go.
Susie Salisbury, Charleston Area Alliance wonderwoman, all-around good citizen and tireless worker, has been one of the forces behind the Greenspace.
"We were starving for downtown greenspace," Salisbury said. She pointed to several studies that have been done over the past 30 years noting the need for redevelopment of downtown Charleston, with the space around the Clay Center as one of the keys to connecting the state Capitol with downtown.
Salisbury said that the most frequently asked questions early on in the project included parking for the Clay Center and finances. The Clay Center addressed the parking issue by creating a new parking spot in the same block. Money has come from many sources, including several grants from the Federal Highway Administration, CURA, various garden clubs, private donors and many other sources. A major contribution will be announced at the opening ceremony.
Another question often thrown at Salisbury is about lighting -- folks are worried about safety at night. On a recent visit, Salisbury pointed out the array of different lighting sources.
"There are LED lights and special-effect lighting on the stream. It will be very well-lit," Salisbury assured me.