Build. Connect. Celebrate.

Pathways to Happiness, Health and Prosperity.

The Rust Belt on a Roll

When Rails-to-Trails Conservancy got involved in the development of the Morgana Run Trail in southeast Cleveland in 2008, we were still exploring the impacts and potential of rail-trail projects in urban areas and underserved neighborhoods. While we knew that improving access to stores, workplaces and transit, and providing safe and convenient pathways for recreation could do great things for residents and local businesses, we had only just scratched the surface on grasping the transformative impact of the humble trail.

ImageSo, 5 years later, it is amazing to hear how the people of Cleveland talk about the Morgana Run.

Earlier this year I returned to Cleveland with RTC’s Manager of Trail Development in the Midwest, Eric Oberg, to talk to local business people, leaders, advocates and young entrepreneurs about exactly what trails like the Morgana Run and the resultant boom in biking and walking has meant for them and the city they love.

What I heard, and recorded in this short documentary video, was inspiring. As someone who personally puts so much time and energy into building trails and trying to improve access to active transportation for all Americans, seeing firsthand the fruits of this labor was incredibly satisfying. Not only that, it inspired to me to continue to help other cities reap the same benefits that Cleveland is now enjoying – where the downtown population is growing, new businesses are being born and thriving, and a whole new choir of biking and walking advocates is being created by the undeniable improvements they see in their city.

Way to go, Cleveland. The Rust Belt is bouncing back, big time.

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