CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Joe O'Neill grew up along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway directly across from the area that is now a huge shopping center and condo complex.
"My sister and I used to play along the creek. We never put our feet in because it was too dirty but we loved playing along the edge and watching the cows in the distance," O'Neill said.
Today, a dream of his was realized as he says a portion of the creek in his boyhood neighborhood was restored to what it once was, only better.
"I've watched this develop over ten years and this transformation, it's wonderful," O'Neill said.
Green turned to gray more than 50 years ago when a parking lot was put over a portion of the creek near Morehead Street and Kings Drive. It was the late 1990's and early 2000's when Mecklenburg County and other agencies stepped in. The County began buying up buildings in the flood plain and over the course of a decade that parking lot was removed and work began to beautify the Greenway.
Now it stretches from the Park Road Shopping Center area, all the way to Kenilworth Drive, near the new Target shopping center and Metropolitan condo complex. The trail is paved, there is a fountain, a clock tower, and artwork along the greenway.
The goal is to eventually stretch the Greenway from the NoDa neighborhood to the state line in Pineville.