Special Collections Research Center: Greenways Archive


Survey Data

Survey Collection

In 1999 and again in 2000 surveys were mailed across the nation soliciting information from public and private greenways organizations. The data accumulated included contact, organization and financial information, and the type, usage, and access of greenways trails. The survey data was incorporated into a database and the original surveys returned are housed in the Special Collections Research Center of NCSU Libraries (Manuscript Collection #274). See the Appendix for quick facts from the survey returns.

The survey returns have both an internal and external impact. The Special Collections Research Center will use the information received to assess the growth of greenways, establish contacts with greenway organizations, and solicit materials from existing greenways. The database of survey returns is also open to the public. Greenway enthusiasts, especially those who are planning on constructing a greenway can use the database to glean pertinent information to aid their research and development.

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Greenway Resource Collection

The survey enabled the Special Collections Research Center to solicit greenway organizations for additional materials.  The response was overwhelming, and the Department received maps, newsletters, master plans, and books.  This information is housed in a separate collection within the Greenways Archive and is available for consultation by the public ( Manuscript Collection #294).
 
 

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Publicity

The main goal of the Greenways Archive has always been the dissemination of information to the public.  In keeping with the land-grant mission of NCSU and the commitment of the Special Collections Research Center to outreach, the Evergreen Foundation grant ensured that the disparate collections comprising the Greenways Archive in the Special Collections Research Center at NCSU are accessible in various forms of media.  Beyond the collections and their finding aids housed on the shelves of the Special Collections Research Center, a pamphlet was created detailing the collections, and a website was developed that not only provides information about the Greenways Archive at NCSU, but also has a list of outside resources for greenways enthusiasts.  Both the pamphlet and website contain information concerning the donation of materials to the Greenways Archive.
 
 

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Mapping Project

Beyond the survey and the resulting database, the Evergreen Foundation grant supported the commencement of an ambitious project to map existing and proposed greenways through GIS mapping software.  While a few states have been mapped and are available on the internet, this is an ongoing project that will be updated as it is developed. (Mapping Project).  NCSU Libraries is part of the GIS Literacy Project, which is co-sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. The Project introduces and investigates the use of GIS in research libraries and surrounding communities. (NCSU GIS site)  The Special Collections Research Center will work closely with the GIS staff of the Library to develop an interactive digital representation of national greenways.
 

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Quick Facts from the Survey Collection

  • The returned surveys indicate that 49% greenways are part of a network.
  • The returned surveys indicate that the average mileage of greenways is 61 miles (this excludes The American Discovery Trail, which is approximately 3000 miles).
  • The returned surveys indicate that 50% of greenways are ADA compliant through the incorporation of parking facilities, smooth surfaces, and acceptable grades.
  • The returned surveys indicate that 50% of greenways have websites that provide directions to the greenway and trail maps, as well as membership and donation information.
  • The returned surveys indicate that 55% of greenways surveyed produce a periodic newsletter.
  • The returned surveys indicate that 53% of greenways surveyed link areas together, such as parks, communities, shopping areas, and businesses.
  • The returned surveys indicate that 48% of greenways surveyed have some length of trail that was converted from a rail bed.
  • The returned surveys indicate that many greenways provide facilities for the convenience of users, including restrooms (41%), telephone (34%), and parking (53%).
  • The returned surveys indicate that the average cost of land acquisition for those greenways surveyed is $306,105.  This amount includes 8 greenways that operate on donated or public lands.
  • The returned surveys indicate that the average annual cost for the maintenance of those greenways surveyed is $44,904.




 



 
 


 
 


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