Written by Kyle Aevermann, Posted: Thu, March 27 2014 at 6:13 PM, Updated: Thu, March 27 2014 at 8:28 PM
Medford, Ore. -- From overgrown bushes to trash, the Bear Creek Greenway can often be dark and not very inviting.
But that's something that Rogue Valley resident Moises Mendoza has been working to change since 2009.
"Back then you couldn't see the creek," Medoza said.
"The blackberry bushes cover everything, you couldn't see the salmon. So, we thought 'hey, lets clean everything up and be at least able to see the creek and see the salmon.' And then all turned into this big project."
A project the city of Medford supports. City councilors toured more than half a mile of the greenway Thursday to see the progress.
"It's been really kind of neat to see folks have a realization of what the Bear Creek could look like when it's cleaned up and maintained," said Brian Sjothun, director of the Medford Parks and Recreation, who lead the tour.
Sjothun said the safety aspect of the greenway is huge reason the city support the facelift.
In 2013, Medford Police responded to 80 crimes on the greenway. In an effort to stop criminals, one of the goals of the project is to remove invasive species. That will allow for a more open environment.
The Project is still far from done.
By the end of summer, work crews hope to remove more plants between 10th street and McAndrews.
And in the long term, they hope to add lighting and safety buttons along the path.
"I just hope that there will be more people on the bike trail to enjoy the creek, something we are privileged to have in Medford," said Mendoza.
The city hopes to hear about the approval of the $30,000 grant to move forward by mid-April.
The estimated cost of the remainder of the project is about $200,000.
Kyle Aevermann reports weekdays and anchors NBC 5 News Weekends. He joined NBC 5 News in March 2012 as a morning producer and reporter. Prior to joining KOBI, Kyle interned at KISL-FM on Catalina Island, CA. He was also a regular contributor to CNN's citizen journalism program.
Originally from the Chicago-land area, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 to work in the social media industry. Kyle enjoys hiking, traveling, learning about cultures, and has a serious love for food.