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Students Explore Future of Downtown Boone’s Kraut Creek

BOONE–A largely forgotten creek that runs through pipes and culverts under downtown Boone has been the focus of Appalachian State University students who want to stabilize and beautify the historic creek corridor.

Boone Creek is known locally as Kraut Creek because of the pervasive odor of discharge from a sauerkraut factory that once operated in the building now occupied by the N.C. Cooperative Extension.

Under the direction of Department of Geography and Planning professors Jana Carp and Gabrielle Katz, students in project management and hydrology classes have studied a portion of Boone Creek from Poplar Grove Extension to the Raley Hall parking lot on Rivers Street.

They have assessed the existing conditions of the creek and designed improvements for the area and will present their research and ideas to the public at the Agricultural Conference Center located on West King Street on Tuesday, May 4, at 6:30 p.m.

Creek side decks off restaurants, improved sidewalks and bikeways, family-friendly park areas and pedestrian bridges are some of the ideas explored so far.

While much of Boone Creek runs under concrete and asphalt, there are some beautiful tree-lined spots that offer the peaceful sound of running water and are lined with flowers in spring and summer.

Students say that stabilizing the eroding banks and protecting and beautifying creek side properties is a viable project for the many private and institutional property owners along the creek. In addition, a few points along the banks could provide small park areas or seating decks that would make downtown Boone an even more appealing place for the public and visitors.

During their research, the students found that a number of downtown business owners and employees, residents, Appalachian staff and faculty, and community members are concerned about the health of the creek – the water quality and the eroding banks – and they are also excited about the potential for this creek corridor through downtown Boone.

Larger issues such as increased parking opportunities, housing and commercial development, and the increasing need for effective stormwater management are important factors to consider as well.

For more information, contact Jana Carp at 262-7091 or e-mail carpje@appstate.edu.

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