Since 2004, Great Rivers Greenway District has been guided by its original framework plan, Building the River Ring: A Citizen-driven Regional Plan. The plan emphasized high-impact investments via land acquisition and greenway facility construction. The update to the regional plan expands upon the original plan's framework, with this action plan to build, promote and sustain the investment being made on greenway development throughout the region.
The Great Rivers Greenway District is a relatively young governmental organization, just over ten years old. As it transitions into its second decade, it has become necessary for the District to update its plan to address new challenges and opportunities for the River Ring's future, ensuring long-term quality of its investment in greenway facilities. More specifically, the purpose of the Plan Update is to incorporate the following aspects into the framework for building the River Ring:
Evaluation: Establish principles and criteria to evaluate greenway projects and their potential to generate social, environmental and economic benefits.
Priorities: Establish principles and criteria to prioritize ongoing and future greenway projects.
Partners: Strengthen existing and identify new partnerships for collaborating on River Ring projects in order to leverage resources and expand Great Rivers Greenway's impact across the region.
Communication: Expand awareness of Great Rivers Greenway and the River Ring, in part by engaging residents and community leaders, to increase facility use and expand support for the District.
To help guide and inform the process, Great Rivers Greenway established five advisory committees: Citizens’ Advisory Committee, Technical Advisory Committee, Peer Review Committee, Regional Advisory Committee and the Applied Research Collaborative.
These committees include more than 150 people representing the interests of citizens, residents, communities, municipalities, as well as private, non-profit, and government organizations.
Having identified social, environmental and economic benefits to developing greenways in the Building the River Ring plan, the Plan Update process sought to confirm, clarify or revise these community aspirations for the River Ring. With the assistance of these committees, the consulting team was able to conduct over 20 workshops and listening sessions. The input received helped to refine Great Rivers Greenway's goals and to identify partnering organizations that will support the District in building, promoting, and sustaining The River Ring.
The Executive Summary and Complete Plan can be found under the Related Documents.
This project started in September 2009 and a draft plan was completed in early 2011. The Plan Update was approved by the Great Rivers Greenway Board of Directors in August 2011.