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There is a clear public need and desire for greenways and trail development in Mecklenburg County. In the fall 2007 and early 2008, a series of public meetings were held to provide public input into the Park and Recreation planning process. Greenways and trails were a major topic of discussion at these meetings. Additionally, a community survey conducted by ETC Leisure Vision found greenways and trail development was an important and unmet need for the majority of Mecklenburg County residents.
The results of the 2008 Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation Master Plan clearly reveal the public’s appreciation for natural areas and their desire for a trail system. Echoing results found in Charlotte Department of Transportation’s bicycle and pedestrian survey results, residents desired and supported the development of an interconnected trail system. From a list of 28 parks and recreation facilities, the top 5 requested by the public were:
• 74% Walking and biking trails (national average 68%)• 63% Large community parks and district parks• 62% Nature center and trails (national average 57%)• 61% Small neighborhood parks of 2-10 acres• 59% Park shelters and picnic areas
Survey results indicate County residents understand and support the role of greenways as both corridors for environmental protection and potential trail development.
• 93% of all residents felt the role of greenways as a connected network of walking, biking and nature trails was very important (75%) or somewhat important (18%).• 88% of all residents felt the role greenways played in environmental protection was very important (65%) or somewhat important (23%).• 80% of residents support (56% very supportive, 24% somewhat supportive) using floodplain land to develop biking and walking trails
The results generated by the Mecklenburg County survey support trends seen throughout the state and nation. The results of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) for North Carolina closely mimic Mecklenburg County survey results, and provide a strong rationale for natural resource conservation and the development of a strong trail system. According to the SCORP, the most popular outdoor activities for NC residents are:
• 75% Walking for pleasure• 71% Viewing scenery• 62% Visiting historical sites• 53% Visiting natural areas• 52% Picnicking
Current projects include:
Greenway Master Plan Information: