The Parks & Recreation Department recently completed a conceptual plan to provide linkages between your parks in the Fairchild area of Kent. Similar plans to be developed in the future will include the Plum Creek and Breakneck Creek areas. The concept of greenways is not new to Kent, as the Department has developed Riveredge Park, which includes over one and a half miles of protected areas. In addition, we have been working closely with the Portage County Park District on the acquisition and development of the Towner’s Woods Rail Trail.
What is a Greenway?
Greenways are Kent’s natural connection – connections between one place and another place – between conservation and economic development – between people and the land. Greenways typically follow linear landscape features such as water courses, ridge lines, abandoned rail lines, or utility corridors. They can be as wide as a watershed or as narrow as a trail. They can be publicly owned or limited to a conservation or trail easement.
Greenways do not look at one parcel or even one use. The goal is nothing less than a network of green, linking people and parks, historic sites, and natural areas. They provide a multitude of benefits for people, wildlife, and the economy.
Benefits of Greenways
Recreation – Greenways can provide a community trail system for the linear forms of recreation such as hiking and biking or just plain strolling.
Environmental Protection – It provides a lifeline for wildlife, preserves biodiversity, and protects water quality by providing a buffer against runoff and non-point source pollution.
Economic Development – Development of the West River Neighborhood is enhanced by the proximity of Riveredge Park. Forest Lakes Development has successfully marketed the park facilities with houses backing onto the park commanding premium prices. White Oak Hills and Cottage Gates Condominiums are the latest developments which have recognized the benefits of providing a bike and hike trail between these two projects.
Quality of Life – Greenways provide a close to home outdoor classroom where children can learn about nature.