Cities throughout the U.S. recognize the value of trail & greenway development as part of a strategy towards improving the quality of life and attracting & retaining business. Health professionals see active use of trails for positive health outcomes in our increasingly sedentary population. Trails and greenways are an excellent way to encourage people to adopt lifestyle changes that will bring lifetime health benefits. Trails and greenways positively impact individuals and improve communities by providing recreation and transportation opportunities, and influencing economic and community development. Some of the many trails and greenways benefits include:
In Greater Cleveland, several governmental entities, planning agencies, and non-profit organizations appreciate and acknowledge the value of greenways and trails. This is reflected in a multitude of trail, open space, transportation and community master plans and proposals, including, for example, the Cuyahoga County Greenprint, and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and its system of suburban and neighborhood connector trails. However, a significant gap remains between planning and timely implementation of many trail projects.
Impediments to trail and greenway construction include a scarcity of resources and funding, and in some areas, a lack of acceptance and support. A need exists to raise awareness of the value and benefits and thus the priority given to trail and greenway projects. Additionally, tools are needed to help communities, planners, and advocates transform trail plans and concepts to construction ready projects and then into completed and well maintained trail infrastructure.
Focusing on trail and greenway development in Northeast Ohio, this series of Conferences has provided an opportunity for professionals, trail & greenway advocates, community leaders, and tourism & business interests to:
• Behnke Landscape Architecture
• Big Creek Connects
• Bike Cleveland
• City of Brecksville
• Cleveland City Planning Commission
• Cleveland Metroparks
• Cuyahoga County Board of Health
• Cuyahoga County Planning Commission
• Environmental Design Group
• Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
• National Park Service: Rivers & Trails
• Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency
• Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
• Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
• The Trust for Public Land
• West Creek Conservancy
We thank the American Planning Association Cleveland Section and its members for assistance in program development and CM coordination.
Proceeds from the Conference benefit the conservation efforts and trails and greenways advocacy of the Conference Co-Chair non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations: West Creek Conservancy and Big Creek Connects (former Friends of Big Creek)