University City

Trail's opening ceremony honors Ruth Shaw

Although the Toby Creek greenway has been open to the public for a few months, the official opening celebrations for the Ruth G. Shaw trail on the greenway will be held Tuesday on the UNC Charlotte campus.

The trail is 11/2 miles of the two-mile greenway that was paid for by federal stimulus funds and connects the campus with the Mallard Creek and Clark's Creek greenways.

"It's going to be a celebration of funding, a celebration of Ruth Shaw, a celebration of the greenway and a celebration of how symbolic this is for the university working with the community ... with the county," said Gwen Cook, greenway planner.

Dave Cable, Catawba Lands Conservancy executive director, came up with the idea of naming the trail after Ruth G. Shaw after she retired as the chairwoman of the board of directors of the Catawba Lands Conservancy.

Shaw served as the former executive advisor for Duke Energy Corporation and was the president and CEO of Duke Power Co. She was also a member on the board of trustees at UNC Charlotte.

"She's just a very wonderful person. ... Very engaged in the community," said Cook.

The county commissioners approved the trail to be named after Shaw on March 15.

According to Cook, the Toby Creek greenway adds two miles to a greenway system that is already seven miles long, making it the longest greenway system in Mecklenburg County.

The greenway provides paved pathways for biking, running and walking.

It allows people to get from where they live to where they work by bike. People can get to the Shops at University Place or attend events on campus without having to drive and park their car at a parking deck, Cook said.

Since the greenway is located across from the future site of the UNC Charlotte football stadium, it'll be easy to get to the first football game, she said.

Cook believes the greenway system brings a healthier lifestyle to campus not only for students, but the community in general.