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May 01
​Wake County Adopts Park, Greenway Master Plans

Will enhance recreational opportunities and support a high quality of life

In a unanimous vote at its regular meeting on Monday, May 1, the Wake County Board of Commissioners adopted the 2017 Wake County Greenway System Plan and the 2017 Wake County Park Facility Master Plan.

“Both plans represent years of studies with the goal of enhancing recreational choices for the people of Wake County,” said Chris Snow, director of Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space. “Today’s vote is the first step in what we hope will be exciting improvements to our parks and the establishment of a comprehensive greenway system.” 

The plans will serve as long-term, strategic road maps for park and trail planning and development. They were created with input from steering committees, residents, stakeholder groups and municipalities over a one-year period.

Greenway System Plan
The development of the Greenway System Plan began in the fall of 2015. The vision for the plan is to create a connected and comprehensive system of greenway trails that will enhance quality of life throughout the county.

It also provides a framework within which local governments and project partners can build regional greenway connections with neighboring jurisdictions.

The plan has four goals:

  • Improve access to outdoor recreation for health and wellness;
  • Support economic development and capitalize on trail-based tourism;
  • Protect waterways, wildlife habitat and natural areas along greenways; and
  • Increase connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists to other transportation options.

The plan recommends developing 274 miles of new trails across Wake County, which would nearly double the size of the greenway network. Currently, the county features nearly 300 miles of existing greenways, including more than 100 miles in the City of Raleigh and more than 70 miles in the Town of Cary alone.

To move the development phase forward, the county will begin coordinating with the municipalities to identify potential partnership opportunities and refine the costs associated with constructing strategic greenways. 

Park Facility Master Plan
The master plan updates and continues the vision from the county’s 2008 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The 2017 plan evaluates how each of the county’s nine park facilities can better help residents and visitors enjoy the county’s natural and cultural resources.

The plan identifies more than 100 potential projects from small to large in scale and cost, which were compiled through data collection, public comments and citizen surveys. They include:

  • Enhancing equity or access to facilities;
  • Connecting to county mission and goals;
  • Enhancing the visitor experience;
  • Providing good cost-to-benefit ratio; and
  • Leveraging existing amenities.

The estimated cost to implement the Park Facility Master Plan projects is approximately $49 million. Additional master planning is expected to take place over a nine-month period. It will focus on timing and coordination of projects and developing a capital plan for funding.

Watch this video to learn more about the park and greenway master plans. A broadcast quality version of the video is available for download here

Visit wakegov.com/parks for more information on all of Wake County’s parks and open space locations.





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