Completed in 2015, the Coastal Georgia Greenway is one of the components that make up the East Coast Greenway. The East Coast Greenway is a system of pedestrian and bicycle trails that offers users a continuous 2600 miles stretching from Florida to Maine. Its Georgia component, the Coastal Georgia Greenway, has multi-purpose trails linking Savannah to Saint Mary’s. The Coastal Georgia Greenway comprises a 150-mile through-corridor linking an additional 200-mile network of water, equestrian, on-road, bicycle and pedestrian trails thereby creating a 350 regional recreational facilities system. It comprises 80% highways and 20% trails and offers numerous direct and indirect economic benefits to the neighbouring communities.
The Coastal Georgia Greenway was envisioned by Ms Jo Claire Hickson, who worked hard to bring the vision to life for almost two decades. The idea of the Coastal Georgia Greenway was to plug into the national trail that was a component of the East Coast Greenway Alliance. The Coastal Georgia Greenway offers a beautiful route passing through wonderful communities such as Savannah, Brunswick, as well as Saint Mary’s, and allows anyone using the trail to gain significant knowledge about the low country. In 2009, various parties allied to create the Coastal Georgia Greenway organization in an attempt to work with the local Georgia communities and raise private finances to advance the trail. The fantastic thing about the Coastal Georgia Greenway was that it was a community effort. Rather than build the trails themselves, they encouraged local communities to build them. One of the primary objectives of the Coastal Georgia Greenway project was to develop a safe area where individuals could be connected to the neighbouring communities, and enjoy outdoor activities. Once completed in 2015, the Coastal Georgia Greenway linked nine cities. In many ways, the Coastal Georgia Greenway afforded the members of the nearby communities a significant level of comfort and separated them from the traffic scene, giving them an opportunity to explore, exercise and have a lovely experience. The Coastal Georgia Greenway received a lot of support from nearby hospitals, which sponsored trails because of their many health benefits that its establishment would bring. Another primary funding source of the Coastal Georgia Greenway project was the Land and Water conservation Fund, which is a federal program designed to improve outdoor recreation and conserve nature in America.
During the establishment of the Coastal Georgia Greenway, one of the fundamental ideas that attracted investors and made the project viable in the Georgia community, was the many benefits that it was projected to create. True to that, the Coastal Georgia Greenway has offered significant direct and indirect economic benefits to host communities and users since its establishment in 2015. The Coastal Georgia Greenway’s contribution to society’s quality of life is a little hard to measure. The trail contributes to initiatives of economic development by increasing a recreational facility to the area’s rich portfolio of desirable features. Locals residing near the trail enjoy more easily quantifiable benefits since the Coastal Georgia Greenway has increased property values in the region. Benefits related to the environment, health, and transportation choice have economic benefits that are more closely linked to the reduction of costs. For instance, the health benefits of the Coastal Georgia Greenway used for recreation and exercise can significantly bring down the medical expenditures that accompany a sedentary lifestyle. The same can be said about the avoidance of cost on controlling pollution and road infrastructure following the increased use of the Coastal Georgia Greenway for transportation.