July 1 will mark the end of a feasibility and planning study of the proposed River of Grass Greenway, a visionary trail meant to cross Florida from Naples to Miami. If you want the trail built, these are the last few days you have to make your opinion count. The surest way to support the trail right now is to write to the project manager, Mark Heinicke, and tell him how you’d like to use the trail.
Vocal opposition to the greenway has arisen in recent months, so don’t assume the project will go through without our speaking up. Lest we forget the trail’s potential, note the words of trail sparkplug Maureen Bonness:
U.S. 41 between Miami and Naples is the only way to access many attractions within six national and state parks of the Everglades ecosystem, and the only road [that a bicycle rider or hiker] can use to travel across the state in southern Florida. Unfortunately, safety conditions for cycling on this stretch of road make it prohibitive to all but the bravest.
A shared-use pathway would not only provide safety for the self-propelled, but also a walkway for nature viewing, photography, and general enjoyment of the Everglades ecosystem. The ROGG would provide endless opportunities for educating visitors about the cultural and natural resources of this internationally renowned wetland.
The Master Plan team has worked diligently to maximize compatibility between the ROGG and the adjacent sensitive environment. For example, if [the project included] a shuttle system between trailheads, it would … reduce traffic on U.S. 41, reduce carbon emissions, and reduce congestion at the parks.
To see the latest draft of the Feasibility Study & Master Plan, visit this link at Miami-Dade Parks.