At the Council for Quality Growth’s Cherokee Advisory Meeting, City of Woodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques, City of Woodstock Community Development Director Jessica Guinn, and City of Woodstock Economic Development Director Brian Stockton discussed the impact of Woodstock’s Greenprints Trail System.
The Greenprints Trail System was developed through the City of Woodstock’s 2007 plan to develop a premier trail system has been very successful in the local community in attracting citizens from all across the Metro Region. The Greenprints multi-purpose trail spans 60(+) miles. The mission of the Greenprints Alliance, the nonprofit organization responsible for constructing and maintaining the trail, is to “advocate for a sustainable greenspace and trail network which enhances the City of Woodstock’s community, natural and economic resources for all generations by promoting the benefits of a green infrastructure system to the general public.”
Detailed information on Woodstock’s Greenprints Trail System can be found HERE.
The widespread economic, environmental, and social benefits that derive from trail systems have been widely noted. For example, Furman University conducted a study of the impacts of the Greenville Hospital System Swamp Rabbit Tram Trail in Greenville, South Carolina. As part of that study, researchers surveyed managers and owners of retail businesses within 250 yards of the trail. The results of the study include key facts highlighting the value of the trail system. Among other points, the study found that:
Most of the businesses reported increases in sales/revenue ranging from 30% to as high as 85% since the trail was completed.
One business decided to open as a result of the trail being built.
In addition to the potential economic and environmental benefits, the Greenprint’s Alliance trail ultimately provides alternative ways of accessing various parts of the community. Brian Stockton, Director of the Office of Economic Development & Downtown Development Authority for the City of Woodstock, told the Council for Quality Growth, “this is really about alternative transportation. The trail has many connection points to the places that people actually want to go. Unlike some other trails, you do not have to drive or bike to the trail; you can simply walk.”
City of Woodstock and Metro Atlanta residents can look forward to upcoming additions to the current trail system, including:
- WellStar Community Health Track, a quarter-mile fitness loop at Woodstock Elementary School.
- A fly-over bridge to connect Woofstock Dog Park on Dupree Road to the existing Noonday Creek Trail (expected to open this fall).
- A one-mile mountain bike trail and skills area at Dupree Park, funded by the Woodstock Parks Department, which will open October 4 for Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.
- In 2015, construction will begin on the Towne Lake Pass that will connect residential and commercial areas of Town Lake to downtown Woodstock and Highway 92. The pass will be funded by the Cherokee County parks bond.
The Council for Quality Growth views the Greenprints Trail System as another tool that local governments can utilize to promote balanced and responsible growth while simultaneously spurring economic development.