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The Cahaba River Blueway Inaugurated with Moon River Launch

The Cahaba Blueway Project was inaugurated recently with the announcement of the first recreational site planned for development. The "Moon River" canoe launch, on land provided by the Freshwater Land Trust, will be located on between Irondale and Leeds, AL on US Hwy 78. The Cahaba Blueway Project is a team effort between Alabama Innovation Engine, a design-based community and economic development initiative, jointly funded by Auburn University and the University of Alabama, and the Cahaba River Society with the Nature Conservancy. The Cahaba Blueway was initiated to improve access points along the Cahaba River to help people discover the river, trails, history and communities of the watershed, and to encourage economic development along the river by connecting communities and assets with visitors and potential investors in the area.

At a July 3, 2013 a press conference held to announce the event, Matt Leavell, Project Director at Alabama Innovation Engine was invited to speak, along with Chris Oberholster of the Nature Conservancy, Beth Stewart of the Cahaba River Society, representatives of Alabama Power, and the mayors of Leeds and Irondale, Alabama.

"When The University of Alabama's Center for Economic Development and Auburn University's School of Architecture Urban Studio collaborated to create Alabama Innovation Engine, they hoped that it would demonstrate the benefits of non-traditional collaborative efforts to Alabama. The partnerships being formed to imagine and develop The Cahaba Blueway as a community asset show that this model of economic development resonates with communities and organizations. Continued development of the project will focus on creating a Blueway that reflects and embraces the diverse communities that exist along the length of the Cahaba River from Birmingham to Old Cahaba," said Matt Leavell of Innovation Engine.

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