Wouldn't it be great to be able to safely walk or bike to local restaurants and other popular destinations?
A new resolution to implement a trail network that would connect neighborhoods to parks, restaurants and shopping via pedestrian and bike-friendly paths has just been adopted by the Jacksonville City Council.
The plan was presented by Groundwork Jacksonville and aims to build an 'Emerald Trail' within the next 10 years.
Advocates believe the Emerald Trail will be a catalyst for social and economic opportunity in Jacksonville, from encouraging healthy lifestyles to sparking neighborhood revitalization and economic development. The trail will link to 18 schools, two colleges and 28 parks among other destinations like restaurants, retail and businesses, with an additional 20 schools and 21 parks located within three blocks of the trail.
Proposed Trail Map
Groundwork has an agreement with the City to manage the design and permitting of the project and has committed to raising at least 50 percent of the design and permitting cost from private donors, grants and foundations.
“The Groundwork Trust was established in Jacksonville to realize the Emerald Necklace and to build the public-private partnerships to make it possible,” says Kay Ehas, CEO of Groundwork Jacksonville, “We are proud to take this first giant step toward achieving that goal.”
When complete, the Emerald Trail will encompass 19.7 miles of new trails connecting at least 14 historic neighborhoods and downtown to existing and/or planned trail segments including the S-Line Rail Trail, Hogans Creek, McCoys Creek, the Northbank and Southbank riverwalks and the FDOTs Riverside connection to San Marco, for a total of 30 miles of trails and linear parks.
“As we look ahead at creating a vibrant and bustling downtown, I am pleased to have the City partner with Groundwork Jacksonville to increase pedestrian and bicycle access to our natural spaces,” said Mayor Curry. “Connecting communities and celebrating our neighborhoods is what the Emerald Trail project is all about. We are a city on the rise and this important project will be a big part of changing the landscape of our downtown as we move forward.”