trails and greenways conference aims to set goals for regional trail system

When the Cleveland Clinic decided to expand its offices at the Independence Technology Center, it cited the nearby presence of the planned Hemlock Trail as one of the reasons behind its investment.

To Dave Linchek of the West Creek Preservation Committee, who has worked for years to make the Hemlock Trail a reality, that's further evidence that Northeast Ohio's trails and greenways not only add to our quality of life, but also enhance our bottom line.

Linchek and other trail advocates created the Greater Cleveland Trails and Greenways Conference in 2010 to bring together leaders for networking, discussion and collaboration. The second biennial conference on Wednesday, June 6th, has elevated the regional discussion to the next level, says Linchek.

"There are a multitude of individual trail plans out there, but we want to spell out our goals as a region," says Linchek. While many cities agree trails are important, they may lack the funding, know how and political will to build them, he says.

Some of the most exciting developments in Northeast Ohio include the proposed Lake Link Trail from the Towpath to Whiskey Island; the section of the Towpath from Steelyard Commons to the Flats that is being developed; the city of Cleveland's renewed focus on bicycle and pedestrian planning; and the Metroparks' newfound openness to creating mountain bike trails.

Source: Dave Linchek
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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