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Regional Trail Movement Spurs Mounds Greenway Expanded Proposal

June 26, 2017

Trail would knit points of interest, hundreds of miles of trail

Regional Trails are the buzz. Not just east or west, but here in our corner of the world as well. Initiatives like the East Coast Greenway, are gaining momentum. That greenway, conceived in 1991, will include 3,000 miles of shared-use trails from Maine to Florida. Closer to home, the Katy Trail in Missouri boasts 285 miles of rail-trail and is cited as the longest of its kind in the country. So it’s no surprise that as we’ve worked on building support for the Mounds Greenway, the prospect of a broad, regional connection has generated excitement.

What is “Mounds Greenway Expanded?” It’s simply this – take the original proposed linear park and trail system along the White River from Muncie to Anderson, and include an additional stretch through Hamilton County to Indianapolis. To the west of the Mounds Greenway corridor (graphic below) is a huge network of bike trails. Hamilton County and Marion County have become nationally recognized hotbeds of bicycling infrastructure. To the east, the Cardinal Greenway spans 62 miles from Marion to Richmond. It’s a tourism and outdoor recreation asset of east central Indiana that continues to grow and show impact.

The East Coast Greenway website offers some perspective on the benefits of regional multiuse trails:

“Opportunities to restore public access to our rivers and waterfronts, to convert abandoned rail lines to new uses, and to make our communities more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly have generated strong public involvement…trails can become an integral part of local transportation systems, provide recreational outlets for all age groups, and help promote healthier lifestyles.”

High-quality, well-planned trails are an element of public infrastructure that we need today. Leaders from around the state recognize the benefits. This expanded vision of the Mounds Greenway has the written endorsement of Mayor Jim Brainard of Carmel, Mayor Andy Cook of Westfield, Mayor John Ditslear of Noblesville, Mayor Dennis Tyler of Muncie, and Carmel-Clay Parks and Recreation. We appreciate their support. We’re focused on knocking the Mounds Greenway’s Muncie to Anderson component out of the park. And we are excited for a new wave of expanded, regional thinking about the greenway.




June 26, 2017