SPRINGFIELD, Mo–People are ready to spend time outside which means taking advantage of the cycling and walking trails here in Springfield.
The Ozark Greenways is looking to improve that experience.
Currently there are two one-mile segments of the James River Greenway trail. A future bridge across Springfield Lake has been suggested to join these two sections as well as extending the trail.
Ozark Greenways say connecting the two trails is their way of celebrating 25 years by making Springfield’s longest trail even longer.
Lori Tack Ozark Greenways Program Coordinator tells KOLR10 ,“well south creek is a very popular trail. It was our first project we began 25 years ago so it’s really exciting for us to see the progress over the last 25 years to see these sections of corridors connecting.
Tack said Springfield has 70 miles of Greenways, and 72 miles of on-street bike routes.
“It’s a future hope to see all of Springfield connected to a Greenway Trail and on street bike route.”
Tack tells KOLR10 as Springfield continues to grow with shopping centers and sub divisions we need to incorporate the trails and on street bike routes.
“So that we connect people in ways that get them out of their car, get them healthier, meeting other people, it’s just an invaluable asset to a community.”
Tack said they have been developing Greenways in bits and pieces over the last. 25 years.
“It’s kind of like building a puzzle. You have to have a lot of different pieces.”
Tack said there is a lot of factors that come into place in creating these trails such as funding with grants, memberships and special events.
“It’s a good time for us to stop and look back at all our successes and see the momentum pick up really in the last several years. See the demand that people want to live near these type of facilities.”
Steven Lane who uses the trail every weekend tells us he rides his bike 15 to 30 miles and this connection of trails will gives him more options.
“One of the big things is it’s just going to be longer which is nicer. So you’re not having to turn around or so you’re not having to take the same trail all the time. Just giving more people chance to spread out .”
Lane tells us he also uses the trails to train him for the Republic Tiger Try which is in August and will consist of 300 yards of swimming, a 12 mile bike ride and a 5K.
“We have people who maybe recovering from injuries out and doing there physical therapy. We have the police academy doing there training to prepare for there duty. We have little children walking to schools safely walking on the Greenways so it;s just an important piece of community,” said Tack.”