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North Huntsville firebrand Opal Meek honored with greenway

HUNTSVILLE – On an unseasonably mild and breezy day for late May, representatives from the city of Huntsville and the Land Trust of North Alabama gathered on the Alabama A&M University campus. The get-together was to announce an extension of Huntsville’s Greenway system honoring North Huntsville resident Opal Meek.

The new 1.65-mile Meek Greenway will connect the A&M campus to Sparkman Drive/U.S.  72.

A member of the Council of Neighborhood Associations, Meek has worked tirelessly for quality conditions in her neighborhood near Alabama A&M.

Huntsville District 1 City Councilman Devin Keith; Madison County District 6 Commissioner Violet Edwards; and Marie Bostick, executive director of the Land Trust of North Alabama, praised Meek’s commitment to her community.

“I want to recognize, on behalf of Mayor Tommy Battle and Shane Davis with the Planning Department, the efforts of and impact of Miss Opal Meek,” said Keith. “This greenway dedication this is a small token of the big impact Miss Meek has on connecting North Huntsville to City Hall.”

Edwards said she is the lead member of the Opal Meek fan club, having known her for years since she lives in the same community as her mother.

“If someone passes away, I get an email from her to put it in the community newsletter,” Edwards said. “I see her walking down the street picking up trash and litter. I am here to say I love you and I am proud of you.

“Every community needs a thousand Miss Meeks.”

Bostick said Meek is a testament to what citizens with a desire to improve their community can do.

“Thank you, Miss Meek, for being persistent but always doing it in such a way that is humble and polite,” she said. “But know that she is a force to be reckoned with.”

The Meek Greenway will include a 12-foot-wide raised pedestrian crossing at Mastin Lake Road, and a parking area.

“The addition of the Meek Greenway in North Huntsville is an example of what building partnerships and collaboration can accomplish,” Bostick said. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with the city and Alabama A&M on developing this greenway.”

The Meek Greenway will provide a key bridge for greenway links to downtown, and is included in the city’s long-term goal to create a 264-mile greenway network throughout Huntsville.

There are 42 miles of connecting greenway across the city with another nine miles in development. An additional 39 miles of proposed greenways are in the capital budget and the Planning Commission has a vision of 174 miles to connect North Huntsville to South Huntsville at Ditto Landing.

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