Greenway Trails & Sidewalks
BENEFITS OF GREENWAYS
- Greenways make our communities more livable; improve the economy through tourism and civic improvement; preserve and restore open space; and provide opportunities for physical activity to improve fitness and mental health (https://www.alltrails.com/us/missouri)
- Trails and greenways provide countless opportunities for economic renewal and growth. Increased property values and tourism and recreation-related spending on items such as bicycles, in-line skates and lodging are just a few of the ways trails and greenways positively impact community economies (www.americantrails.org)
- In communities across the country, people do not have access to trails, parks, or other recreation areas close to their homes. Trails and greenways provide a safe, inexpensive avenue for regular exercise for people living in rural, urban and suburban areas
- Tourism and recreation-related revenues from trails and greenways come in several forms. Trails and greenways create opportunities in construction and maintenance, recreation rentals (such as bicycles, kayaks, and canoes), recreation services (such as shuttle buses and guided tours), historic preservation, restaurants and lodging.
- Preserve critical open space that provides natural buffer zones to protect rivers, streams, and lakes from run-off caused by fertilizer and pesticide use on yards and farms
- Trails and greenways help improve air and water quality. For example, communities with trails provide enjoyable and safe options for transportation, which reduces air pollution. By protecting land along rivers and streams, greenways prevent soil erosion and filter pollution caused by agricultural and road runoff.
- Greenways also serve as natural floodplains. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flooding causes over $1 billion in property damages every year. By restoring developed floodplains to their natural state, many riverside communities are preventing potential flood damage.
- Trails and greenways are hands-on environmental classrooms. People of all ages can see for themselves the precious and intriguing natural world from which they often feel so far removed.
- Greenways protect important habitat and provide corridors for people and wildlife. The preserved Pinhook Swamp between Florida’s Osceola National Forest and Georgia’s Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge protects a vital wildlife corridor. This important swampland ecosystem sustains numerous species including the Florida black bear, timber rattlesnake and the Florida sandhill crane.
- Alternative Transportation
- Surveys by the Federal Highway Administration show that Americans are willing to walk as far as two miles to a destination and bicycle as far as five miles
- Offer effective transportation alternatives by connecting homes, workplaces, schools, parks, downtown, and cultural attractions.
- Helps communities mitigate costs associated with water, air pollution and flood control
Preserving Our History and Culture:
- Trails and greenways have the power to connect us to our heritage by preserving historic places and by providing access to them.
- They can give people a sense of place and an understanding of the enormity of past events, such as Native American trails and vast battle-fields.
- Trails and greenways draw the public to historic sites. The six-mile Bethabara Trail and Greenway in Winston-Salem, North Carolina draws people to the birthplace of the city, the original Moravian Christian village founded in the late 1700s.
- Other trails preserve transportation corridors. Rail-trails along historic rail corridors provide a glance at the importance of this mode of transportation. Many canal paths, preserved for their historic importance as a transportation route before the advent of railroads, are now used by thousands of people each year for bicycling, running, hiking and strolling.
- Many historic structures along canal towpaths, such as taverns and locks, have been preserved.
Greenways enhance our lives in many ways by:
- Providing a recreational amenity for walking, jogging, and bicycling in a natural setting remote from traffic;
- Preserving pristine open space to enhance quality of life;
- Linking our neighborhoods with parks, schools, community centers, and other neighborhoods;
- Helping control stormwater runoff, curb erosion, and minimize flooding which can damage our property;
- Improving water quality by buffering streams, filtering pollutants, and recharging our groundwater; Adding value to our property by merit of proximity.