George Washington Regional Commission receives Technical Grant
(Fredericksburg , Virginia)

MillionMile Greenway awarded the George Washington Regional Commission (GWRC) a technical grant for greenway planning on a regional scale in Northern Virginia. The GWRC is the planning commission for Virginia Planning District 16, which includes the City of Fredericksburg and Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford counties. Greenspace and trail planning by the GWRC will protect critical greenways in some of the highest profile suburban areas of the United States.

Through our work with Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative nearby, officials of the George Washington Regional Commission applied for a technical grant from MMG.  Approved in 2009, the technical team, led by MMG board member Jesse Glasgow began working with the GWRC in the fall.

This result will be detailed maps of the region which highlight areas most suitable for new trails with emphasis on connecting featured destinations and cultural amenities.

Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative Update
(Spotsylvania County, Virginia)

Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative (SGI) made remarkable strides in 2009 as they blossomed from an idea into a full-fledged community organization with major initiatives beginning to be implemented.  They also benefited from a MillionMile Greenway Community Starter Grant in 2009.

Spotsylvania County, Virginia is located just south of Washington, DC near Fredericksburg and Richmond and other high-growth communities.  Yet the county still has a unique mix of pristine natural areas and nationally renowned historic resources adjacent to dense neighborhoods and commercial districts.

Trails are planned to connect four major Civil War national battlefields, managed by the National Park Service – Spotsylvania, Wilderness, Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg.

With the help of MMG and a forward-thinking developer interested in building a lasting legacy, Luck Development Partners (LDP), SGI is partnering with county, state and regional officials to create a long-term plan to eventually connect communities and all four Civil War battlefield parks. This system will also become a component of the East Coast Greenway — connecting communities from Maine to Florida along the Atlantic coastline.

SGI is now building a demonstration trail in a wooded area along the Ni River through property owned by LDP.  Educational signs will be installed to highlight sensitive natural areas, plants and trees. Other nearby property owners are now supporting the idea of connecting to the trail.

MMG completes project for Northeast Georgia Regional Development Commission
(Athens, Georgia)

A year in the making, mapping experts with the MillionMile Greenway technical team provided the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission with a Greenway Analyst report.  Using advanced mapping technologies, recommendations on the best places to build new trails and connect existing greenways and natural areas were offered for the 12-county area in North Georgia.

Awarded the first MMG Community Technology Grant in 2008, the MMG technical team developed a siting model specific to the regional commission’s needs and terrain. John Devine, senior planner with the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, provided crucial guidance.  For example, the NGRC is coordinating future rails-to-trails projects to maximize inactive railroads.  Those areas received more points than places with roads and active railways. Streams, existing greenspace and trails also received more points than developed areas.

Commissioned by the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Regional Greenway Study is an important milestone for developing bicycle and walking trails — including rails-to-trails, safe routes to school and a greenway plan for Athens-Clarke County.

One meaningful outcome is the Firefly Trail – a 39-mile future trail that uses abandoned railroad tracks to connect eight communities in North Georgia.  As they build community support and financial resources to begin construction, the new nonprofit is off to an excellent start with a professionally designed website, popular events to encourage community buy-in and a solid plan to keep people informed and engaged.

City of Dunwoody receives technical grant to map future trails
(Dunwoody, Georgia)

MillionMile Greenway awarded the city of Dunwoody a Community Technical Grant to assist with planning greenways and trails city-wide.

The grant includes expertise in customized Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, a $4,000 value that will help Dunwoody determine the best routes for future trails, linking places people want to go – on foot and on bikes.

“The city is creating a comprehensive park and recreational master plan,” according to MMG volunteer Ryan Jenkins.

There are essentially two options for the city of Dunwoody, or any city or group receiving MMG’s Technical Grant, to enhance and expand green spaces and trails.

The first is a site-specific conceptual design. This model creates individually defined areas in a community. It may include facilities like restrooms, parking, information kiosks and identifying the best places for new trails.  Completion can be expected within two or three years.

The second, a longer-term option, is a community-wide comprehensive plan. Future trails would connect neighborhoods, parks and schools to other neighborhoods, parks and schools throughout the region.  While this phase could take two to three decades to implement, the benefits, such as increased opportunities for healthy alternatives to driving and increased property values and tax revenues, are well worth the effort.