As the controversy over funding and plans for a F-M diversion continues, Grand Forks flood veterans may soon lend their voices to help build support for the Fargo-Moorhead project.
The Greater Grand Forks flood protection system not only got rid of spring flood fights, it's also provided the Greenway… community space from the flood walls and levees to the river. It's now one of the area's greatest assets.
During the summer it's 22-hundred acres of green space, with 20 miles of walking and biking trails, parks, campgrounds, golf and a lot more. But, getting this flood protection project in place was no easy task. Following the flood of 1997 there was a lot of controversy about where these flood walls would be located, and which homes and businesses would have to be moved.
Kevin Dean, City of Grand Forks: "Absolutely. I mean the last thing we thought about was a Greenway in 1997."
At the time, most folks in Greater Grand Forks didn't't realize the extra benefits of a flood protection project.
Kim Greendahl of the Greenway Committee says they've now been contacted by City leaders about speaking to groups in Fargo, in an effort to get beyond the controversy regarding a Fargo flood protection project.
Kim Greendahl, GF Greenway: "I have had some conversations with leadership there about… would we come down and talk to the residents, talk to some of the planners about what the future can look like and what they can expect."
Greendahl says what Fargo-Moorhead could expect is much more than a flood protection project. She says it's a concept that was originally hard to accept even here in Greater Grand Forks, where the Greenway is now considered a jewel of the Community.
Kim Greendahl: "And most people coming to our Community now don't even realize that this was a contentious subject for some people."