Great Rivers Greenway is celebrating its 20th anniversary and seeking input to envision the next twenty years of connecting the region with greenways. Area residents are invited to guide Great Rivers Greenway’s work by providing feedback through January 15 at www.GreenwayPlan.org. While anyone is welcome to share ideas, the greenways are funded by sales tax revenue from St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County, so people who live and work in those three counties are especially encouraged to participate. One of the survey participants will be randomly drawn to receive a $300 grocery gift card.
Over the last twenty years, civic engagement has guided the agency to build more than 128 miles of greenways that connect people to their jobs, schools, parks, rivers, neighborhoods, business districts, transit and more. Greenways typically include a paved, accessible trail, conservation projects to enhance the environment, amenities like restrooms or benches and connections to nearby destinations. The map below shows the progress throughout the region to date and some of the future possible routes. The agency—created by a vote of the people in 2000—updates their long term strategic plan every five years with community input.
“Your voices are central to bringing the greenways to life – these are your tax dollars at work,” said Dr. Bernard J. DuBray, Board President. “A vision this bold takes all of us – thank you to all our partners and community members for their collaboration.”
In addition to building the paths to connect the three counties together, Great Rivers Greenway works with partners to promote and activate and take care of the greenways and surrounding habitats. The agency was originally set up to build the greenways, with local municipalities or other entities managing the day-to-day care. Due to varying capacity of partners, the operations and maintenance sometimes varies from place to place. Input on past plans led to a team that supports greenway care with staff, vendors, volunteers and trainings to help maintain the greenways more consistently across the region. Long-term care is just one of the topics on the survey, along with project prioritization and how people can get involved with conservation work and establishing relationships with their communities.
“We’ve heard time and again that the greenways are an important part of people’s quality of life and our region’s well-being overall,” said Susan Trautman, Chief Executive Officer. “That has been loud and clear in 2020 – more people than ever have turned to the greenways for fresh air, to stay active and connect to nature. These regional assets belong to everyone and we welcome your ideas to envision the next 20 years!”
Tracked by electronic counters, visits to the greenways have risen 72% in 2020 as compared to 2019. The survey will remain open until January 15, 2021. To learn more, request a copy be mailed to you, take the survey by phone or learn about the history of Great Rivers Greenway, visit www.GreenwayPlan.org, call 314-436-7009 or email email@example.com.