Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Leave It Better: Tell-Tale Trail: An Area Once Shunned by the Community Has Now Been Embraced and Thoroughly Enjoyed as a Multi-Use Trail

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Leave It Better: Tell-Tale Trail: An Area Once Shunned by the Community Has Now Been Embraced and Thoroughly Enjoyed as a Multi-Use Trail

Article excerpt

Project:

The Gwynns Falls Trail, Baltimore, Md.

Problem:

Amid decades of neglect--to the point that this western Baltimore area succumbed to regular bouts of prostitution, body dumping and other dubious activities--the Gwynns Falls Valley area was never used by neighboring residents and became a dark cloud hovering over the community.

Solution:

Fourteen years alter being built in 1991, the paved, multi-use trail was extended to a total of 14 miles and has been used and supported by the community. It runs through 2,000 acres of parkland and 30 neighborhoods. Plans are forming to extend the trail to more neighborhoods beyond the city's limits. The only problem the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks now deals with is trash dumping from nearby cars, says Trail Manager Mike Strawbridge.

Cost:

$14 million from federal transportation funds, state, local and private dollars.

Lead Time:

The idea originally was introduced in 1904 by Frederick Law Olmsted's two sons, Frederick and John, whose vision for the Gwynns Falls Valley was to be a greenway connector throughout the city. …

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