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Popular walking trail near Delray Beach closing for 2 years

Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department owns path, which is being closed to make way for water purification project
Posted at 9:58 AM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 10:03:53-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Nancy Belowich-Negron moved to Delray Beach from Albany, New York, a few years ago.

She said one of her selling points in the area was a hidden gem near her home — a walking trail across the street from Green Cay Wetlands.

"To me, this path, this is like paradise," Belowich-Negron said. "I come here once, sometimes twice a day. I've made friends here. My dog has made friends here."

Earlier this week, Belowich-Negron walked up to the park and found several signs saying the area parking lot and walking path would be closed. She thought it was just for a few days until a friend told her it was for the next two years.

"I cried, I mean, like a little baby because this is paradise," she said. "I mean, there's nothing that they could do here to make it better."

The Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department owns the path, which it opened to allow residents to have a nice walking trail outside of its Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility. However, it will now close the trail to allow its facility to expand.

Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility sign

"This project, slated to open in late 2026, will purify reclaimed (recycled) water and replenish groundwater supplies throughout the region," the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department said in a statement. "This innovative, state-of-the-art facility will serve as a dependable, drought-resistant source while protecting our water resources and creating new recreational experiences for residents and visitors of Palm Beach County."

The news is not what Liam Reinsvold wanted to hear on his 10th birthday.

"It's sad because I really do like this park," he said. "It's a very fun park to go to."

Mathias Thermilus lives in Delray Beach and said the walking path brings him serenity.

walking path at Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department set to close
A walking path owned by the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department will soon be closed for the next two years.

"I hear it as a song, the wind wrestling through the leaves," he said, sharing the disappointment that one of his favorite spots "is going to be gone for a little bit."

The walking path is scheduled to close starting Monday.

Palm Beach County Water Utilities is inviting people to go across Hagen Ranch Road to the Green Cay Wetlands. It's one of several natural areas throughout Palm Beach County.