Every December, it's exciting to look back on the year and see the progress we are making together. But this year might just be the best in my 10 years here for two main reasons: 1) the Greenway dream of a route that is the most visited park in America made a big leap forward, and 2) investment in the Greenway vision reached a record high.
Our staff dug deeper than ever into understanding how many bike rides, runs, and walks are hosted by the hundreds of Greenway segments that make up our route. What they unearthed shows phenomenal growth in use over the past several years. The East Coast Greenway now has more than 30 million visits per year, twice that of any National Park in the country. We see a clear path to our vision of 100 million visits annually at the end of next decade — a participation rate that would transform the health, sustainability, and economy of our 450 communities and 15 states.
Getting to 100 million can't happen without significant infrastructure investment to close key gaps in our route. Remaining gaps prevent children from biking to school safely and their elderly neighbors from enjoying the dignity of walking to the park after they hang up their car keys for the last time. This year was a model for the future when it comes to investment. Almost $200 million of federal to municipal resources was invested into new Greenway connections from Maine to Florida. If we continue to invest at this rate, we can complete our Greenway vision by 2030.
Let's celebrate another outstanding year. Your donation this holiday season contributes to even bolder work in 2020, fueling this remarkable momentum toward a healthy, equitable, and sustainable future.
Thank you for your support and partnership,
Dennis Markatos-Soriano, executive director
We'll send monthly updates on East Coast Greenway progress and people.
Your support helps to develop this ambitious, 3,000-mile route, Canada to Key West. Your membership gift builds more protected miles that we can all enjoy, today and for generations to come.