- What is the vision?
To build a world-class county-wide trail and pathway network.
- Why are you doing this?
In order to continue growing our economy and doubling down on our quality of life investments, we need to formulate an action-oriented strategy to build infrastructure that works for recreation and everyday needs; better connects communities; and fill gaps to building and maintaining the network.
- Who’s behind this?
The Community Foundation of Elkhart County is spearheading the process that includes a broad coalition of elected officials, city/county staff, enthusiasts, corporate citizens and, you, the general public.
- How does the process work?
The process seeks to build off of the current trail network and the completed planning for its expansion. It will include regular stakeholder engagement, active public participation, and numerous events and other ways to be part of the movement.
- What is the geographical extent of the process?
Elkhart County, its immediate surroundings and its cities, towns, employment centers, parks, rivers and numerous other regional amenities.
- What is your timeline?
The process kicked-off in the summer of 2021. The strategy will be established in late spring 2022 but the engagement and implementation of the strategy will continue well beyond this milestone.
- How much does this all cost?
This process is privately funded by the Community Foundation. The development and management of the network will be paid for through a variety of local, regional and national funding opportunities that are dedicated to trail and pathway projects.
- I am not much of a bicyclist or walker, how does this impact me?
It does! An active transportation network helps get people to their destinations without clogging roadways. Walkable and bikeable streets are also safer for all users and have been shown to increase retail sales. A robust network can also improve regional health through improved air quality and fewer hospital visits. Building the network is also a job creator and economic development tool that attracts new property investment and tourism spending.
- What are different ways I can get involved?
There are numerous opportunities to get involved. The first is signing up at connectinelkhartcounty.com. You will also find a number of events such as group walks/rides, festivals, and educational opportunities. As the process develops, additional ways to engage will emerge through helping build advocacy, joining a committee and other volunteer opportunities.
- How do I stay in the loop?
Stay connected by signing up and regularly checking in at connectinelkhartcounty.com.