Planning for the Future
We are working to develop multi-use trails along the Wabash River corridor, and increase access to boat ramps.
Wabash River Greenway
Master Plan for the Rural Corridor
The overarching concept for the rural corridor plan envisions the creation of a Wabash River Greenway along the county’s Wabash River corridor and its tributaries. Drawing from the experience of greenways elsewhere in Indiana and across the nation, a Wabash River Greenway could offer multiple benefits to the Wabash River ecosystem, the local economy, and the quality of life of the county’s residents, and visitors.
The Wabash River Greenway Master Plan is at the conceptual level of planning, with many of the details to still be worked out. As we begin to transition into the project’s development phase, the plan’s Tippecanoe rural section was taken to the schematic design and engineering level of planning. The first stages of the Wabash River Greenway will be implemented in Tippecanoe County.
Implementing the Greenway Plan is a long-term commitment. WREC and our partners identified a three-prong strategy to complete implementation.
Strategy 1: Building Support for the Greenway
One of the greenway’s most compelling arguments is that it would build upon past accomplishments and current initiatives. By “connecting the dots,” it would help create a new identity for resources now fragmented by many landowners, as well as provide new opportunities for the public’s appreciation and enjoyment of those resources. But the greenway cannot be realized without broad public support. It will require a well-conceived and executed communications strategy to gain that support from diverse interests.
Strategy 2: Managing Greenway Resources and Enhancing Greenway Experiences
The Wabash River’s landscapes, natural communities, and cultural sites provide a complex of resources, most of which are owned and managed by private landowners. How those resources are managed and the extent to which they contribute to the greenway concept will depend upon new initiatives to work cooperatively with landowners, to acquire parklands and preserves, and to ensure the effective use of mandates and incentives in the county’s zoning and subdivision ordinances.
While opportunities already exist for the public’s enjoyment of the greenway, further investments are needed to enhance the quality and diversity of greenway experiences. Municipal, county, and state agencies, and nonprofit organizations should be encouraged to coordinate their planning, capital projects, and operations in a manner mutually beneficial to their individual interests and the greenway.
Strategy 3: Developing a Greenway Partnership
The greenway’s implementation will require an effective and sustainable partnership that can successfully engage in collaborative initiatives. Its functions would include:
- Setting priorities and milestones
- Being a leading voice for the greenway
- Advanced planning
- Undertaking projects and programs
- Monitoring progress and celebrating success
Several options exist for structuring the partnership, which includes: an informal arrangement among interested parties, a partnership defined by a cooperative agreement, or an incorporated partnership entity. In addition to providing new opportunities to simply experience the river and its setting, the greenway can accommodate diverse goals that include:
- Sustaining the agricultural economy
- Encouraging physical exercise
- Enhancing the value of adjoining properties
- Providing educational opportunities
- Preserving cultural heritage
- Improving water quality
- Restoring natural habitats