Greenways are strips of land, usually located in or near urban areas, that are set aside for recreational use or for environmental protection.
Often the land is not suitable for commercial development anyway, because it may lie within an area that is subject to flooding, thus making construction of permanent structures on the site impractical or unlawful.
Other times, the dimensions of the land may cause it to be impractical for development, such as an abandoned railroad right of way.
In such cases, the establishment of greenways is an economically practical and environmentally wise choice for the municipalities or agencies in which the land lies.
In terms of the economy, greenways can actually be an enticement to prospective homebuyers who want to live near greenways they can use for exercise, recreation, and for connective corridors to shopping areas, schools, or other points of activity.
Also as an economic incentive, cities that contain and maintain greenways can boast of these to potential businesses as a plus for their employees as these companies consider where they might want to locate.
Money spent on tourism activities such as bicycling, hiking, and dining can also increase as visitors utilize the greenways and bikeways and the adjoining businesses of the locales they visit.
Greenways offer safe accessible outdoor recreational opportunities for walking, running, bicycling, and other forms of exercise, usually without having to travel very far to get to them.
And, unlike gyms or fitness clubs, use of the greenways requires no membership fees or registration procedure and is free of charge!
In terms of a family activity, walking along a greenway offers a great outdoor fitness opportunity for all ages and a chance to observe wildlife and nature at the same time.
Often, the greenways are situated along rivers or wind their way through forested areas where birds, rabbits, squirrels, deer, and other animals are readily observable.
Not only is our quality of life enhanced by visiting and observing these natural areas, but by protecting such areas from development, we establish and insure a level of conservation and preservation for our often-threatened and ever-shrinking natural environmental areas. (You might enjoy reading: Will The Hawk Survive?
The establishment and use of greenways is good for us while we’re here, and good for those who will follow after us.