Greenways Goals and Strategies

Goals and Twelve Strategies for Implementation


1. “Hubs and Spokes”-A Statewide Network of Greenways: Establish a statewide greenways network of “hubs” (parks, forests, game lands, conservation areas, historical, cultural and recreational sites, communities, etc.) and “spokes” (connecting corridors such as land and water trails, natural corridors, etc.) that includes greenways of statewide significance, as well as local and regional greenway networks.

Statewide Greenways:

  • 2002: Map of Statewide Significant Greenways presented.
  • 2003: Greenways GIS comes online.
  • 2010: 25% of the Statewide Significant Greenways completed.


Local and Regional Greenways:

  • 2007: A greenways demonstration project selected and underway in every county.
  • 2010: Establish local greenways in 1000 communities.
  • 2020: Establish a local greenway in every community.


2. Greenway Plans: Promote the development of “greenway plans” by county and local governments as an integral part of their comprehensive planning and implementation efforts, encouraging them to link greenway concerns with programs that address sound land use, community revitalization, recreation needs and open space protection.

  • 2007: All 67 counties complete and adopt Greenway Plans.


3. Places for All People: Increase opportunities for diverse populations to enjoy greenways across rural, suburban and urban landscapes, including motorized and non-motorized recreational users, persons with disabilities, and all cultural and ethnic groups.

  • 2003: Complete a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.
  • 2004: Complete a Motorized Recreation Study.
  • 2005: Designate 1000 miles of water trails.
  • 2010: Designate 2000 miles of water trails. 


4. Pennsylvania Wellness: Actively involve the health community in greenways to promote physical activity and mental wellness in the Commonwealth.

  • 2002: Integrate greenways into the State Health Improvement Plan.
  • 2003: Undertake the Greenways and Healthy Communities initiative.
  • Annually: Work with community-based health improvement partnerships to support and promote greenways with a physical activity focus.


5. Alternative Transportation: Develop a trails system that provides transportation alternatives to the automobile, and is part of a comprehensive multi-modal transportation system.

  • Annually: Construct or enhance 100 miles of bicycle and pedestrian facilities (trails, roadway shoulders, on-road bike lanes and sidewalks).
  • Annually: Increase bicycle accessibility of transit systems by 5% (translates to 2-3 transit providers per year).


6. Natural Resource Protection: Promote strategically located greenways that protect the Commonwealth’s natural resources and environmental quality.

  • 2010: Add 600 miles of riparian buffers and work to conserve all existing buffers.
  • 2010: Incorporate green opportunities into 20 brownfields and integrate the sites into local greenway networks.



 7. Greenways Organizational Structure: Issue an Executive Order (or amend Executive Order 1998-3) that establishes the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) as the lead agency for Greenways Program implementation; creates an Interagency Coordination Team; encourages agencies to integrate greenways into their policies and programs; and restructures the Greenways Partnership Commission and the Greenways Partnership Advisory Committee.

  • September 2001: Issue or amend the Greenways Executive Order.



8. Greenways Funding: Assemble public and private funds that assist in planning, building and maintaining greenways and in meeting grant requirements for local matches.

  • 2002: Create the Pennsylvania Greenways Funding Guide.
  • 2003: Complete a feasibility study to create a Pennsylvania Greenways Trust for assembling private dollars to leverage public funds on a 1:1match ratio.
  • 2004: Identify a long-term funding stream that ensures the sustainability of the Greenways Program.



9. Greenways Toolbox: Develop a toolbox for all those involved in greenways implementation that includes technical resources for developing greenway plans, assembling “best practices” and addressing pressing needs such as liability mitigation and design standards.

  • 2002: A Greenways Toolbox assembled and online.


10. Greenways Education and Training: Incorporate greenways training into existing education programs for greenway partners and establish a strategy to integrate greenways into environment and ecology coursework for teachers and students of all ages.

  • 2002: Integrate greenways training with Growing Smarter education and training programs.
  • 2003: Initiate a strategy to integrate greenways concepts into the instruction and assessment related to existing environment and ecology standards for grades K-12.
  • 2004: Encourage incorporation of greenway concepts as part of teacher preparation curriculum or basic environmental science courses in all state-owned universities.
  • 2003: Launch a basic Greenways Information Clearinghouse.


11. Greenways Promotional Campaign: Enhance Pennsylvania’s economy and tourism by showcasing its greenways in a promotion and marketing campaign that informs residents and visitors of the opportunities and benefits of greenways.

  • 2006: 75% of Pennsylvanians know the definition and benefits of greenways.
  • 2010: Pennsylvania becomes the #1 state in greenways-based tourism.
  • Annually: Increase inquiries at the Pennsylvania greenways website and 800-number by 10%.


12. The Greenways Volunteer Network: Establish a corps of volunteers of all ages to maintain and promote local greenways through an “Adopt-a-Greenway” Program.

  • 2004: Establish and implement the Pennsylvania Adopt-a-Greenways Program.