A pedestrian bridge across the Red River could connect North and South Clarksville like never before, prompting some more fun in the sun for the people of Clarksville, including APSU students.

APSU applied for a grant with Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Health Foundation to extend the Clarksville Greenway to meet APSU’s campus.

“I think extending the greenway {to meet APSU] would allow people to do more outdoor activities, travel and work out,” said Kori McDaniels, a member of APSU’s track team.

Some students said they find the idea of extending the greenway exciting because they prefer to exercise outside.

“Gyms are stuffy and irritating, and having a place to work out outside would make me actually want to exercise,” said Mackenzie McDonald, a student at APSU. “Plus, indoor gyms are intimidating, and outdoor spaces are much better for people with anxiety.”

The proposed extension is part of a greater plan to make APSU a more sustainable campus. APSU’s Office of Camus Sustainability defines “sustainability” as “the capacity to balance the present needs of people, the economy and the environment, while protecting the needs of future generations.”

Earlier campus sustainability projects have included solar-powered charging tables in the Morgan University Center Plaza, the B-Cycles outside of the Foy Fitness and Recreation Center and the recycling bins all around campus.

“I don’t use APSU’s B-Cycles now, but I would use them on the greenway. Especially if my friends and I wanted to hang out,” McDanials said. “The only reason I don’t use the cycles now is because I see campus every day, therefore I don’t want to bike around it.”

The greenway, however, would encourage McDaniels to utilize the B-Cycles more often.

“However, with the greenway, it isn’t something I see every day, so it would make me want to bike more than before,” she said.

Students could even use the greenway to commute to campus by bicycle, further working towards APSU’s goal of a more sustainable campus.

Yet, with the new addition comes construction and planning.

“I definitely think the construction would cause unwanted traffic, but not very much,” McDaniels said. “Furthermore, I don’t think it would be that big of a deal, since there is already so much traffic in Clarksville.”

On the other hand, McDaniels’ opinion on this isn’t shared by everyone.

“I understand extending the greenway. There are plenty of people that use it regularly and it’s extremely beneficial to the community,” McDonald said. “But I just feel like the extra construction is the last thing we need.”

“Traffic on this side of town is already terrible,” McDonald said. “And if it would affect parking, it already takes me 20 minutes to park.”

Despite the fear of construction, additional traffic and parking issues, opinions about a possible greenway extensions are mostly positive.

“I think building the greenway [extension] would help out the APSU cross country team because they won’t have to travel to off-campus parks to practice,” McDaniels said. “Also, if extending the greenway on to campus doesn’t affect parking, safety and campus traffic, then I’m all for it.”

A pedestrian bridge crossing the Red River would connect the greenway to APSU.

“It [construction] has not started yet. We have a grant from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for $1.8 million,” said Jennifer Letourneau, director of Clarksville Parks and Recreation. “And the city is matching $1.2 million for that project. The environmental study is currently being done, and we expect to have something started on it this year.”

Letourneau and the people at Clarksville Parks and Recreation have 14 projects either under construction or in planning stages.

“We’re in the process of drawing up plans for an all-inclusive playground, and four multipurpose fields off Exit 8. We have 300 acres out there,” Letourneau said.

“They’re artificial turf fields, not grass.”

“Obviously the bridge is huge. It’s connecting North and South Clarksville like it’s never been done,” Letourneau said.