(L-R: Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr, Rock Island Rail Corridor Authority Development Manager Josh Boehm, and Program Coordinator Matt Davis)
April 13, 2018
Jackson County’s Rock Island Rail Corridor Authority was honored by the Prairie Gateway Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (PGASLA) for the MetroGreen Visionary Award. The award is given to a city, county or governmental agency that “conducts outstanding efforts to promote trails and greenways” like the original MetroGreen Plan envisioned.
The MetroGreen Plan was created in 1991 at the ASLA National Annual Meeting in Kansas City as a gift to the City of Kansas City. It identified a regional greenway system for the metro area linking existing parks, urban spaces and rural greenspaces by proposing a system of trails and bike paths.
Chris Cline, President of the Prairie Gateway Chapter of ASLA, was on the original team that produced the MetroGreen Plan. In his remarks, he commended Jackson County’s vision in obtaining the Rock Island Rail Corridor to benefit the region, and for the on-going planning and implementation efforts associated with making the corridor into a multi-use trail, while also considering the future potential the corridor has for transportation.
Cline further commented, “This PGASLA Award was provided solely based upon the leadership that Jackson County has provided to secure the right-of-way for this critical linkage in the region, and the efforts the County has undertaken to obtain the necessary funding for planning and construction implementation of a project that perfectly complements the goals identified in the MetroGreen Plan. As President of PGASLA, I am honored to present the MetroGreen Visionary Award to Jackson County on behalf of our Chapter.”
Upon receiving the award, Matt Davis, Program Coordinator for the Rock Island Rail Corridor Authority of Jackson County stated: “As we develop the Rock Island Corridor we strive to make our community a more beautiful, connected and vibrant place to live. Receiving this award affirms those goals and is a great honor for the Rock Island team and the County.”
The Rock Island Corridor is a 17.7 mile railroad right-of-way acquired by Jackson County and the KCATA in 2016. As well as being the logical local connection to Missouri’s Katy Trail, the corridor is also being preserved for future multi-modal transit. The County has been pursuing the development of the property into a working trail since its purchase.