Rails to Trails - Benefits
Benefits of Outdoors Recreation
Data shows that adults who were introduced to the outdoors as children were more likely to participate in the outdoors during adulthood than those who were not exposed to the outdoors as children. In fact, 37 percent of adults who were introduced to the outdoors during childhood grew up to enjoy outdoor activities as adults. Only 16 percent of adults who do not currently participate in any outdoor activities had outdoor experiences as children.
See the report from 2016 documenting the benefits of being outdoors for recreation. HERE
2017 Tourism report: Oklahoma’s State of Health: The People, the Economy, and the Environment. HERE
Benefits of Rails to Trails
The major benefits of Trails in Oklahoma include:
-Transportation / Livability
-Conservation / Environment
-Economy / Revitalization
-Historic Preservation / Community Identity
For details - see: Benefits of Trails
Oklahoma Recreational Trails Plan
in 2001 - the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department had a report created to investigate the issues of trail recreation. Here are some of their findings:
Demand for trails is increasing in Oklahoma as identified by representatives of cities and towns and present trail users. The diversity of trail use is increasing as well, and trail users prefer a separation of motorized and non-motorized use by design of the trails.
Trails are an important consideration for community development as alternative transportation routes, green space and linkages, properties offering positive economic benefit, and properties that improve quality of life for residents.
To see the full report - click HERE
A story of success: Missouri
The 237 mile Katy trail planning started in the 1980's and now has over 400,000 trail users each year.
In 2012, Missouri State Parks conducted a study to determine the economic impact of Katy Trail State Park based on user spending and found the trail had a direct impact of $18.5 million per year.
As this report documents, there are abandoned railroad corridors located across Missouri. The purpose of this report has been to document where the corridors are and identify resources for those interested in
converting them to active recreational trails. Missouri Blueways rails trails project
From the 2016 Rails to Trails Magazine:
"Pathway to Prosperity: Missouri's Katy Trail Is a Beautiful Model for Commerce": Missouri Success Story
There were plenty of legal challenges to the building of the Missouri Rails to Trails system. To read about those challenges and how they were overcome - click HERE