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What is a Greenway?


Simply put, a greenway is a corridor of land or open space.

Greenways are often natural areas that conserve wildlife, but they can also be places that provide recreational opportunities, such as parks or biking trails. A prime example of a greenway is the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine. However, not all greenways are vast, open trails. Greenways can also be a city’s interconnected system of parks.

Greenways provide accessibility so that each and every person can have the opportunity for recreation, or to view wildlife.

“Linkage is the central theme and goal of the greenway concept - to reconnect and preserve natural land and water habitats…” - Keith Hay, Greenways and Biodiversity, Landscape Linkages and Biodiversity, 1991

Greenways also make communities livable and improve the quality of life.

“The dream is to spiderweb this entire nation with so many green threads, principally along streams and ridges, that every citizen would be only minutes away from one.” - Noel Grover, Land & People, 1994

In fact, in one of the country’s most unlikely places, New York City, a complex, interconnected system of greenways exists, thanks to the vision of the city’s most prominent landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. His vision of greenways created an integrated system of parks ranging from lower Manhattan all the way to the Bronx.

If Greenways are possible in the most urban city in America, shouldn’t they be possible in New Jersey?

“Greenways allow us to treat land and water as a system, as interlocking pieces in a puzzle, not as isolated entities.” - Ed McMahon, Director, American Greenways Program

We encourage all those involved in conserving open space, farmland, and historical sites in New Jersey to consider the possibilities with Garden State Greenways.

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