A 'legacy project': WVU community opens trail system

Published: Apr. 30, 2017 at 9:09 PM EDT
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WVU student and faculty volunteers held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday, celebrating progress made on the Falling Run Greenspace in Morgantown.

"We've already seen the college commuter come through, with a cup of coffee in the morning and a baseball cap and a backpack," Vaike Haas, a landscape architect and assistant professor at WVU, said.

Haas began designing the trail system for the project about three years ago.

"I came to the conclusion that what we needed was a space where commuters could get up from those neighborhoods up by Braddock, Keyser, and Van Gilder through the neighborhood to the Mountainlair side," she explained.

The goal of the project is to connect the WVU Organic Farm, located on W.Va 705, to the downtown campus.

About 1,000 student volunteers logged more than 3,000 volunteer hours in constructing the trails over the last nine months.

"It's completely different when you see the trails built out and you see people using it, and they're bringing their dogs and kids through, and you're like 'this is a a place and I helped make it, and it's so cool!'" Morgan Southall, a senior studying landscape architecture, said giggling.

Southall was one of many students who spent the weekends constructing the system of sixteen hiking trails. She said she was attracted to the idea of a 'legacy project,' developing something that will be in the community for a long time to come.

And the project isn't done yet. Those involved hope to designate an area for mountain bikers in the near future, but in the meantime, they have a request. That's in the video above.