Charles E. Little Papers 1975-1990

Creator
Little, Charles E.
Size
8 linear feet
Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00214

Chapter by chapter typeset drafts of Little's Greenways for America (1990) and research files and background materials regarding greenway projects across the nation. The latter files contain reports, plans, drawings, maps, assessments, and pamphlets documenting various conservation projects, especially greenway projects. This material was deposited with the North Carolina State Univerisity Archives to serve as the basis for a national greenway archive.

A former advertising executive, Charles Little became a writer and advocate for land conservation and community planning. His writings include books, published papers, and articles all of which have had significant impact on conservation policies of federal, state, and local governments.

Biographical/historical note

Charles E. Little, a native Californian, graduated from Wesleyan University in 1955, and served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Although he began his career as an advertising executive in New York City, Little decided in his mid-thirties to resign from advertising to become a full-time environmental activist, author, journalist, and policy analyst. Since then he has helped pass both federal and state legislation on open space, parks, and agricultural land preservation. He has also held several research and management positions in non-profit organizations and government agencies. These include: executive director of the Open Space Institute in New York, senior associate at the Conservation Foundation in Washington D.C., and head of natural resources policy at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. In 1978, Little established and became president of the American Land Forum in order to develop policy on land conservation.

Little has written a number of books and magazine articles that have led to numerous changes in conservation policy, which include better approaches to cooperative planning for landscape areas, as well as national legislation for farmland protection. Books by Little include: Challenge of the Land (1968), Space for Survival: Blocking the Bulldozer in Urban America (1971), Green Fields Forever: the Conservation Tillage Revolution in America (1987), Greenways for America (1990), Hope for the Land (1992), The Dying of the Trees: the Pandemic in America's Forests (1995), and Discover America: the Smithsonian Book of the National Parks (1995). Little and W. Wendell Fletcher co-authored The American Crisis: Why U.S. Farmland is Being Lost and How citizens and Governments are Trying to Save What is Left (1982). Little edited Louis Bromfield at Malabar: Writings on Farming and country Life (1988). In addition, Little co-edited An Appalachian Tragedy: Air Pollution and Tree Death in the Highland Forest of Eastern North America (1998) with Havard Ayers and Jenny Hager. Little has contributed numerous articles about land conservation, community planning, and natural resources to the following magazines: Smithsonian, Garden, Business and Society Review, Air and Space, Country Journal, and Wilderness, for which he contributed a whole-issue essay on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in 1987. Little has also written pieces for the Capital Ideas department in Harrowsmith, and Conservation Commentary in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. In addition, Little has both edited and published two periodicals: Open Space Action and American Land Forum, the prize-winning magazine that he founded in 1980. He also edited the John Hopkins series American Land Classics. Little currently resides in Kensington, Maryland with his wife, Ila Dawson Little, professor of English literature.

Scope/content

This collection consists of reference materials that Little compiled and used to write his book, Greenways for America (1990), which the Conservation Fund of Washington D.C. commissioned him to write in 1988. Greenways for America represents the first comprehensive compilation of information pertaining to greenways, a result of Little's extensive surveying of national greenways (both on-site and via mail), and countless interviews with individuals whose efforts have made these greenway projects come to fruition. Little defines greenways as (1.) linear open spaces established along natural corridors, such as riverfronts, stream valleys, ridgelines and railroad right-of-ways converted to scenic roads, recreational use, or canals, (2.) natural or landscaped trails for pedestrian or bicycle passage, (3.) open-space connectors that link parks, cultural features, nature reserves, or historic sites with each another and populated areas, and (4.) local strips and linear parks designated as parkways or greenbelts (parkway, a term that Frederick Law Olmsted probably coined, and greenbelt, a British term, are frequently used interchangeably with the term greenway in the United states. According to Little, Edmond Bacon, a landscape designer, likely coined the term greenway, as discussed in William H. Whyte's Securing Open Space for Urban America (1959).

In Greenways for America Little traces the history of the greenway movement both here and abroad. He attributes the present American greenway movement to Olmsted, who designed the grounds for the University of California's Berkley Campus in 1865, as well as the parkways, or green, linear corridors, which Olmsted envisioned cutting through Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N. Y. in 1866. Olmsted oversaw several other projects that resulted in preserved strips of parkland for pathways and scenic drives, including the famous Emerald Necklace of Boston, a parkway of open space proposed in 1887. According to Little, the concept and construction of modern greenways took shape in the 1960s in the name of open-space action. The national movement to convert abandoned rails to trails also began in the 1960s. Although efforts to secure open, green spaces declined in the 1970s and early 1980s, the greenway movement experienced a boon in the mid 1980s when a lack of federal funds forced concerned citizens to take matters into their own hands. As a result, proactive Americans have established scores of diverse greenways across the land. In two major chapters Little profiles a number of these greenway projects, and describes the efforts of several people who have created and preserved greenways throughout the United States. Many citizens tout these greenways as sorely needed networks of green that provide exercise, recreation, preservation of natural corridors for wildlife migration, protection of scenic and historic routes from commercial development, economic prosperity and growth, and an improved environment. Little subsequently devotes five chapters to the basic types of greenways: riverfronts and urban river greenways, paths and trails, ecological corridors, scenic drives and historic routes, and greenway network programs. According to Little, the idea of linking greenways together, thus creating a nationwide system of greenways, has become at present an integral component of the movement. Linkage, Little notes, is an important concept to greenway advocates because of its potential to take local grass-roots efforts to a higher level. These advocates believe that the creation of trails and open spaces connecting towns, cities, and parks from one end of the country to the other will eventually build a truly cohesive community, offering both ecological and social benefits for all. Finally, in the closing chapters of his book, Little pragmatically outlines and discusses the step-by-step process of developing greenways, as well as the overarching theme of the greenways imperative: to raise environmental consciousness.

Physical description

18 archival boxes

Arrangement

The first series of the collection, Chapter Files, contains reference material and drafts of chapters for Greenways for America. A copy of Little's bibliographic data base search for articles on greenways, as well as the various greenway maps included in the book, are also housed here. The second series, Project Files, consists of professional correspondence, newspapers articles, essays, studies, reports, surveys, design projects, maps, plans, proposals, brochures, flyers, pamphlets, assessments, newsletters, magazine articles, and journals that Little amassed in order to depict the various greenway projects across America. The third series, Reference Files, consists of general reference material, such as reports, foundation lists, magazines, brochures, essays, articles, conference programs, and newsletters. These papers contain information relating to local, state, and national organizations and programs. Reference Files also contains correspondence pertaining to the progression of the greenway projects, and information on related conservation and environmental interest groups.

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles E. Little Papers, MC 00214, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Related material

  • Treasures of the Greenbelt: A Celebration of the Countryside in the San Francisco Bay Region (1986).
  • Whatever Befalls the Earth...Collin County Cares, Collin County Public Works, McKinney, Texas.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Charles E. Little through George F. Thompson, editor for Johns Hopkins University Press: February 28, 1991.

Gift of Charles E. Little through George F. Thompson, editor for Johns Hopkins University Press: February 28, 1991.

The collection is organized into three principal series:

Chapter Files (MC 214 Series 01)
Size: 2.5 linear feet

These include several drafts of the chapters in Greenways for America, with comments and corrections from Little's colleagues. This series also contains material that Little referred to in order to write the book, such as drawings, essays, reports, maps, Little's notes and outlines, information on the Olmsted Historic Landscape Act, a master list of the Olmsted Firm's Design Projects, 1857-1950, professional correspondence, articles, newsletters, various publications, pamphlets, plans, manuals, reports, press releases, conference programs, court cases, brochures, business cards, journals, fact sheets, studies, and a Land Trust manual. Maps of the various greenways featured in the book, as well as a copy of Little's bibliographic data base search, are housed in this series. The chapters are arranged in chronological order. Placement of other papers in this series reflects subject matter arrangement (e.g., the bibliographic data base search is located before the chapter files; the greenway maps are located at the end of the series).

Note: chapter arrangement corresponds with how Little numbered the chapters in the final version of his book.

5 Hollinger boxes

Bibliographic Data Base Search
Box 1
Front Material and Introduction
Box 1
Chapter One-Reference Material
Box 1
Chapter One-Reference Material-Olmsted
Box 1
Chapter One-Reference Material-Olmsted Design Projects
Box 1
Chapter One-Comments and Drafts
Box 1
Chapter Two-Reference Material
Box 1
Chapter Two-Comments and Drafts
Box 1
Chapter Three-Comments and Drafts
Box 1
Chapter Four-Reference Material
Box 1
Chapter Four-Reference Material
Box 2
Chapter Four-Comments and Drafts
Box 2
Chapter Five-Reference Material
Box 2
Chapter Five-Reference Material
Box 2
Chapter Five-Reference Material
Box 2
Chapter Five-Reference Material
Box 2
Chapter Five-Reference Material
Box 2
Chapter Five-Reference Material
Box 2
Chapter Five-Comments and Drafts
Box 2
Chapter Six-Reference Material
Box 2
Chapter Six-Reference Material
Box 3
Chapter Six-Reference Material
Box 3
Chapter Six-Reference Material
Box 3
Chapter Six-Comments and Drafts
Box 3
Chapter Seven-Reference Material
Box 3
Chapter Seven-Reference Material
Box 3
Chapter Seven-Reference Material
Box 3
Chapter Seven-Comments and Drafts
Box 3
Chapter Eight-Reference Material
Box 3
Chapter Eight-Reference Material
Box 3
Chapter Eight-Reference Material
Box 4
Chapter Eight-Comments and Drafts
Box 4
Chapter Nine-Comments and Drafts
Box 4
Chapter Ten-Reference Material
Box 4
Chapter Ten-Reference Material
Box 4
Chapter Ten-Reference Material
Box 4
Chapter Ten-Reference Material-Land Trust Manual
Box 4
Chapter Ten-Reference Material-Land Trust Manual
Box 4
Chapter Ten-Comments and Drafts
Box 5
Chapter Eleven-Reference Material
Box 5
Chapter Eleven-Comments and Draft
Box 5
Appendix-Comments and Draft
Box 5
Greenway Maps
Box 5
Project Files (MC 214 Series 02)

Information pertaining to the various greenway projects that Little researched, visited, and outlined in his book is included here. As outlined in the Introduction of Greenways for America, Little identifies five major types of greenways. They are: (1.) urban riverside greenways, (2.) recreational greenways, which feature trails and paths that are based on natural corridors, canals, abandoned railbeds, and other public rights-of-way, (3.) ecologically significant natural corridors established along rivers, streams, and ridgelines, which provide wildlife migration, nature study, and hiking, (4.) scenic and historic routes along roads, highways, and waterways, and (5.) comprehensive greenway systems or networks, usually based on natural landforms, designed to create an alternative municipal or regional green infrastructure. Little assembled information about greenway projects in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Types of material housed here include: plans, reports, studies, surveys, assessments, maps, correspondence, business cards, newsletters, transcribed interviews, with greenway developers and advocates, Little's notes, taken while visiting greenways throughout the United States, Little's greenway project surveys, brochures, pamphlets, flyers, a masters thesis, press releases, guides, and other publications. Several newspaper, magazine, and journal articles are also located in this series. This series is arranged alphabetically, according to the state that the greenway is located in, followed by the name of the greenway project. Note: "Linking Countryside and City: the Uses of Greenways," an article by Charles Little that appeared in the May-June 1987 issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, is located in folder # 30, labeled Chapter Eight-Reference Material, in Box #3. Two photographs of Charles E. Little are located in the folder labeled Oconee River Greenway, Georgia in box #8. Also, two copies of greenway bylaws are located in folders labeled Yakima Greenway, Washington, and Platte River Greenway, Wyoming in box 214.16.

Pima County River Parks, Arizona
Box 6
Pima County River Parks, Arizona
Box 6
Pima County River Parks, Arizona
Box 6
Pima County River Parks, Arizona
Box 6
Pima County River Parks, Arizona
Box 6
Pima County River Parks, Arizona
Box 6
Pima County River Parks, Arizona
Box 7
Pima County River Parks, Arizona
Box 7
Tempe Rio Salado, Arizona
Box 7
American River Parkway, California
Box 7
Bay and Ridge Trails, California
Box 7
Bay and Ridge Trails, California
Box 7
Big Sur Viewshed, California
Box 7
Davis Greenway, California
Box 7
Lindo Channel/Bidwell River Park, California
Box 7
Los Gatos Creek Trail, California
Box 7
Moore Creek Canyon/Antonelli Pond, California
Box 7
San Joaquin River Parkway, California
Box 7
Santa Margarita River, California
Box 8
Arapahoe Greenway, Colorado
Box 8
Arkansas Riverwalk, Colorado
Box 8
Boulder Creek Trail, Colorado
Box 8
Clear Creek River Trail, Colorado
Box 8
Colorado River Trail, Colorado
Box 8
Monument Valley Trail, Colorado
Box 8
Platte River Greenway, Colorado
Box 8
Platte River Greenway, Colorado
Box 8
Pueblo River Greenway, Colorado
Box 8
Uncompahgre Recreational Corridor, Colorado
Box 8
Farmington Canal Greenway, Connecticut
Box 8
Monroe Greenway, Connecticut
Box 8
Redding Greenbelts, Connecticut
Box 8
Redding Greenbelts, Connecticut
Box 8
White Clay Creek-Middle Run Corridor, Delaware
Box 8
Canopy Roads Linear Parkway, Florida
Box 8
Canopy Roads Linear Parkway, Florida
Box 8
Oconee River Greenway, Georgia
Box 8
Snake River Greenbelt, Idaho
Box 8
Illinois Greenways-Masters Thesis
Box 9
Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor, Illinois
Box 9
Thirty-First Street Greenway, Illinois
Box 9
Cedar Valley Lakes, Iowa
Box 9
Cedar Valley Nature Trail, Iowa
Box 9
Chichaqua Valley Trail, Iowa
Box 9
Cinder Path, Iowa
Box 9
Comet Trail, Iowa
Box 9
Great River Road (Mississippi Parkway), Iowa
Box 9
Great Western Trail, Iowa
Box 9
Heritage Trail, Iowa
Box 9
Iowa River Greenbelt, Iowa
Box 9
Pioneer Trail, Iowa
Box 9
Saylorville-Des Moines River Trail, Iowa
Box 9
Mill Creek Streamway Park, Kansas
Box 9
Red River Trail, Louisiana
Box 9
Bangor-Orono-Old Town Greenway, Maine
Box 9
Island Trail, Maine
Box 9
Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine
Box 9
Capital Crescent Trail, Maryland
Box 9
Northeast Creek/Western Back River Greenway, Maryland
Box 9
Patapsco Greenway, Maryland
Box 9
Patapsco Greenway, Maryland
Box 9
Seligson Farm, Maryland
Box 9
Weems Creek Greenway, Maryland
Box 9
Wildlife Overlay District, Maryland
Box 9
Youghiogheny River, Maryland
Box 9
Bay Circuit Greenway, Massachusetts
Box 9
Cape Cod Ridgeline, Massachusetts
Box 9
Charles River Greenway, Massachusetts
Box 9
Emerald Necklace Parks, Massachusetts
Box 9
Housatonic River Greenway, Massachusetts
Box 9
Nashua River Greenway, Massachusetts
Box 9
Northern Route 128 Corridor, Massachusetts
Box 10
Proctor Brook and South Middleton Branch Trails, Massachusetts
Box 10
Quincy Quarries Greenway, Massachusetts
Box 10
Southwest Corridor Park, Massachusetts
Box 10
Stockbridge Yokun Ridge Reserve, Massachusetts
Box 10
Worcester Greenways, Massachusetts
Box 10
Gateway to Harbor Springs, Michigan
Box 10
Grand Trunk Trail, Michigan
Box 10
Lake Front Park, Michigan
Box 10
Katie River Trail, Missouri
Box 10
Meramec Greenway, Missouri
Box 10
Lincoln Creek Parkway, Nebraska
Box 10
Papio Trail, Nebraska
Box 10
Bayshore Waterfront Park, New Jersey
Box 10
Delaware and Raritan Canal, New Jersey
Box 10
Manumuskin River Watershed, New Jersey
Box 10
Patriots' Path and Lenape Trail, New Jersey
Box 10
Stony Brook Greenway, New Jersey
Box 10
Bronx River Parkway, New York
Box 10
Brooklyn-Queens Greenway, New York
Box 10
Brooklyn-Queens Greenway, New York
Box 11
Delaware and Hudson Canal, New York
Box 11
Greenway Trail, New York
Box 11
Hudson River Valley Greenway, New York
Box 11
Hudson River Valley Greenway, New York
Box 11
Hudson River Valley Greenway, New York
Box 11
Hudson River Valley Greenway, New York
Box 11
Hudson River Valley Greenway, New York
Box 11
Hudson River Valley Greenway, New York
Box 11
Hudson River Valley Greenway, New York
Box 11
Hudson-Mohawk Urban Cultural Park, New York
Box 11
Mohonk Preserve, New York
Box 12
Staten Island Greenway/Amundsen Trailway, New York
Box 12
Monadnock Highlands, New Hampshire
Box 12
Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, New Hampshire
Box 12
Capital Area Greenway, North Carolina
Box 12
Capital Area Greenway, North Carolina
Box 12
Cary Greenways, North Carolina
Box 12
Circle the Triangle Trail, North Carolina
Box 12
Emerald Isle, North Carolina
Box 12
French Broad Riverfront, North Carolina
Box 12
French Broad Riverfront, North Carolina
Box 12
French Broad Riverfront, North Carolina
Box 12
French Broad Riverfront, North Carolina
Box 12
French Broad Riverfront, North Carolina
Box 13
High Point Greenway, North Carolina
Box 13
Little Cross Creek Streamway, North Carolina
Box 13
Mecklenberg County Greenways, North Carolina
Box 13
Neuse River Corridor, North Carolina
Box 13
Raleigh Area Greenways, North Carolina
Box 13
Raleigh Area Greenways, North Carolina
Box 13
Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio
Box 13
Forty Mile Loop, Oregon
Box 13
Forty Mile Loop, Oregon
Box 14
Portland Area Projects, Oregon
Box 14
Willamette River Greenway, Oregon
Box 14
Willamette River Greenway, Oregon
Box 14
Brandywine Greenway, Pennsylvania
Box 14
Lancaster County Plan, Pennsylvania
Box 14
Lock Port Heritage Greenway, Pennsylvania
Box 14
Nockamixon Cliffs, Pennsylvania
Box 14
Schuylkill River Greenway, Pennsylvania
Box 14
Valley Creek Corridor, Pennsylvania
Box 14
Wissahicken Creek Greenway, Pennsylvania
Box 14
Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park, Rhode Island
Box 14
Wood Pawcatuck Rivers, Rhode Island
Box 14
"The South Carolina Rivers Assessment," South Carolina
Box 14
Big Sioux River Greenway, South Dakota
Box 14
Kingsport Greenbelt, Tennessee
Box 15
North Chickamauga Creek Greenway, Tennessee
Box 15
Tennessee Riverpark, Tennessee
Box 15
Tennessee Riverpark, Tennessee-Master Plan
Box 15
Tennessee Riverpark, Tennessee-Master Plan
Box 15
Allen Greenbelt, Texas
Box 15
Open Space Collin County, Texas
Box 15
Open Space Collin County, Texas
Box 15
Open Space Collin County, Texas
Box 16
Battenkill River, Vermont
Box 16
Stowe Recreation Path, Vermont
Box 16
Virgin River Corridor Greenways, Vermont
Box 16
Warrenton-Casanova Trail, Virginia
Box 16
Bear-Evans Creek, Washington
Box 16
Burke-Gilman Trail, Washington
Box 16
Friends of Ravine, Washington
Box 16
Hood Canal, Washington
Box 16
Palouse Path, Washington
Box 16
San Juan Preservation Trust, Washington
Box 16
Spotted Owl Corridor, Washington
Box 16
Yakima Greenway, Washington
Box 16
Appalachian Greenway, West Virginia
Box 16
Dane County Greenbelt, Wisconsin
Box 16
Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Wisconsin
Box 16
Janesville Greenbelts, Wisconsin
Box 16
Platte River Parkway, Wyoming
Box 16
Reference Files (MC 214 Series 03)

General reference information is housed here. Included in this series is an extensive list of national, regional, and state foundations, all potential funding sources for greenway projects. A toolbook called Tools for the Greenbelt: A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Open Space is also located here. This guide contains information on greenway policies, development procedures, and case studies. General reference material includes information on national, regional, and state organizations and agencies. Such materials include lists, brochures, studies, essays, plans, newspaper articles, professional correspondence, newsletters, reports, flyers, and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers list. Information on national organizations and agencies represented in this series includes: American Farmland Trust, American Trails Network, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, Bureau of Land Management, Rails-to-Trails, American Rivers, United States Department of Agriculture, New England Forestry Foundation, the Conservation Fund (Greenways for America Program), National Park Service, National Center for Nonprofit Boards, National Endowment for the Arts, the Conservation Foundation, National Parks and Conservation Association, and the Land Trust Exchange. A list of greenway-related organizations, such as the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Nature Conservancy, the National Institute for Urban Wildlife, and the Walkways Center, which includes addresses and telephone numbers, is also located in this series. This series is arranged alphabetically, with general reference material placed at the end of the series.

Referenc Material--Foundations
Box 17
Reference Material--Foundations
Box 17
Reference Material--Foundations
Box 17
Reference Material--"Tools for the Greenbelt"
Box 17
Reference Material--"Tools for the Greenbelt"
Box 17
Reference Material--General
Box 17
Reference Material--General
Box 17
Reference Material--General
Box 17
Reference Material--General
Box 17
Reference Material--General
Box 17
Reference Material--General
Box 17
Reference Material--General
Box 17
Reference Material--General
Box 18
Reference Material--General
Box 18
Reference Material--General
Box 18
Reference Material--General
Box 18
Reference Material--General
Box 18

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles E. Little Papers, MC 00214, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.