City leaders use hidden natural resource to spruce up West Montgomery - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

City leaders use hidden natural resource to spruce up West Montgomery

Montgomery Deputy Mayor Jeff Downes points out the area known as Genetta ditch and the site of the proposed Genetta Park off West Fairview Avenue. Montgomery Deputy Mayor Jeff Downes points out the area known as Genetta ditch and the site of the proposed Genetta Park off West Fairview Avenue.

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - You wouldn't think it, but an area of overgrown weeds and old concrete on West Fairview Avenue is what city leaders call the gateway to a better West Montgomery.

"That is Genetta ditch," says Deputy Mayor Jeff Downes.

Genetta ditch lies just under some tall grass on West Fairview and just off Interstate I-65.

It's formed by water running from Catoma Creek.

But for years, it's sat untouched. Now city leaders want to unleash its hidden potential.

"The whole idea is to open the Genetta ditch up and make it the Genetta stream and ultimately the Genetta Park."

Genetta park is part of a larger project to revitalize West Montgomery. Because it's one of the first parts of the city visitors see off I-65, leaders say it needs to look good.

"The idea is to make this a very attractive entrance, so whether you're a visitor, whether you're a potential customer, you'll be proud to enter this area...you'll feel comfortable," says Downes.

Leaders hope the park does just that.  Nearby resident Samantha Harriel thinks the project has promise.

"I think it would enhance the neighborhood. I think it would draw more attention as far as people traveling...[If] their kids want to take a stretch," says Harriel.

While the focus may be on West Fairview, revamping West Montgomery is only the beginning of an initiative leaders have to, "grow this area, and then move onto other parts of Montgomery as well," says Downes.

Genetta park is one of 24 projects planned to revitalize West Montgomery. Right now leaders are working to acquire the land for the park. They don't plan to use any city money, but rather federal funds set aside for stream restoration projects.

City leaders say if they get the land, construction could start around the beginning of the year.

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