What Exactly is a Greenway?
Greenways are linear parks or corridors of protected open space. They follow natural features such as rivers, streams, ridgelines or hilltops. They may also be established along abandoned railroad lines, utility rights of way, scenic roads or other man-made features.
The City of Knoxville began its greenway program by establishing a greenway in every sector of the City. Now, the city had 41.9 miles of greenways/linear parks and is actively working to connect all greenways, parks and open spaces in order to create a comprehensive greenway system throughout the city. The city is also working to connect to the Knox County greenways and to partner with adjoining counties to create a regional system of greenways in East Tennessee.
Greenways preserve the beauty of places that we have known and cherished for years, or even generations. And greenways can create or reveal new and wondrous scenes. They bring communities together as they are the natural place to visit with your neighbors. Neighborhood groups work to enhance greenways and organize outdoor events once a greenway has been established nearby.
- Enhance our quality of life by providing scenic places for us to enjoy.
- Provide close to home outdoor recreation opportunities. Because greenways are typically long and narrow, they provide more access to more people.
- Improve water quality and lessen the impact of flooding. Trees and other vegetation along river greenways prevent erosion by anchoring the soil along the banks.
- Enhance and protect forests, which improve air quality, provide shelter for wildlife and lower city summertime temperatures by providing natural air conditioning.
- Benefit the economy by increasing adjacent property values, attracting new businesses, stimulating reinvestment in once-blighted urban areas and encouraging tourism.
- Provide transportation routes that connect people, communities and the countryside.
- Protect the green landscape for which our state is famous and protect the very character of our area.
- Encourage fitness and therefore creating a more active and healthy community.