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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Indiana takes big step toward developing a statewide greenways network

The state of Indiana announced on Tuesday plans to acquire over 150 miles of abandoned railway. About 400 parcels of land in 39 counties would be sold to the state and would then be given to local communities for the development of trails. Indiana Department of Transportation officials said the state would spend $1.5 million to buy the abandoned railroads.
A greenway is a corridor of protected open space managed for conservation, recreation and non-motorized transportation. Greenways often follow natural geographic features such as ridge lines, stream valleys, and rivers, but may also be built along canals, utility corridors, or abandoned rail lines. Widths may vary from thirty to a thousand feet. Most greenways include a trail or bike path, but others may be designed strictly for environmental or scenic protection.The environmental benefits include reduced stormwater runoff, flood reduction, water quality protection, and preservation of biological diversity. The trails within the greenways provide access between neighborhoods and destination points, opportunity to travel without an automobile, outdoor education classrooms, and close-to-home paths for walking, jogging, bicycling, and roller blading.

The Indianapolis Star, Dec 05, 2007
Full Story: Deal to buy rails puts Indiana on path to statewide trail system