[A] key factor in the development and planning of most trails is local, grassroots efforts: that is, the citizens who drive the local, state, and federal government to act. Everything from establishing the vision and need for greenways to defining specific trail corridors, to participating in the zoning process, to forming citizen coalitions, to developing guidelines for trail use and access should be within the abilities of each citizen. With broad-based support, the vision of a national system of trails can be realized.
— American Trails, Trails for All Americans report, 1990
Greenways and trails offer a new way of looking at how a community’s cultural, historic, recreational and conservation needs fit into an overall picture that also includes economic growth. With their emphasis on connections, greenways and trails allow community leaders to consider how existing parks and open spaces can become part of a network of green that supports wildlife, pleases people, and attracts tourists and clean industry.
—Office of Greenways and Trails, Florida Dept of Environmental Protection, Thinking Green: A Guide to the Benefits and Costs of Greenways and Trails, 1998
As a kid I had a dream–I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike.
We can tie this country together with threads of green that everywhere grant us access to the natural world.
—President Reagan’s Commission on American Outdoors, Americans and the Outdoors, 1987
The completed Great Allegheny Passage will bring in $100 million in tourism dollars.
—Linda McKenna Boxx, President Allegheny Trail, 2013
Rivers, lakes, and other waterways are the lifeblood of our communities, connecting us to our environment, our culture, our economy, and our way of life. The new National Water Trails System will help fulfill President Obama’s vision for healthy and accessible rivers as we work to restore and conserve our nation’s treasured waterways.
—Kenneth Lee Salazar, Secretary of the Interior