Greenways Leadership
United States [ change ]

Greenways Leadership

Lisa Aangeenbrug, Executive Director, GOCO
Lisa Aangeenbrug, Executive Director, GOCO
In 1992, Coloradans took a major step toward preserving their state’s outdoor heritage by voting to create the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Trust Fund Included in the Colorado Constitution the provision permanently dedicates a portion of state lottery proceeds to projects that preserve, protect, and enhance Colorado’s wildlife, parks, rivers, trails, and open spaces. Since it began awarding grants in 1994, GOCO has awarded over $690 million for more than 3,000 projects statewide. In total more than 800,000 acres of open space have been protected in perpetuity, keeping natural areas in both rural and urban landscapes. GOCO has also helped to create or enhance 1,049 community parks and outdoor recreation areas, built or restored more than 764 miles of trail, and assisted in efforts to enhance Colorado’s state parks and engage youth.
 
 
Patrick Cullina, Friends of the High Line
Patrick Cullina, Friends of the High Line
 
 
Joshua Laird, Assistant Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
Joshua Laird, Assistant Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
The High Line was constructed in the 1920s to lift freight traffic thirty feet in the air and remove dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan’s largest industrial district. After the last train traversed the High Line’s tracks in 1980, the structure fell into disrepair and was condemned. Forming a unique public-private partnership, the Friends of the High Line, a voluntary conservancy, and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation crafted a vision for the High Line’s preservation and reuse as a public open space. Today, the partnership continues as Friends of the High Line raises private contributions for the park and oversees its maintenance and operations, pursuant to an agreement with the City’s Parks Department. When all its sections are complete, the High Line greenway will be a mile-and-a-half-long elevated park, running through the West Side neighborhoods of the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea, and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.
 
 
David Hartwell
David Hartwell
Fearful of the encroachment of development into Minnesota’s treasured waters and natural landscapes, David Hartwell convened a group of concerned citizens to advocate for a dedicated funding mechanism for land conservation and clean water protection. In 2008, this citizen initiative was successfully incorporated into Minnesota’s constitution as the Clean Water, Land and Legacy constitutional amendment. Through David’s visionary leadership of the citizens’ initiative, Minnesota recognized that such a dedicated fund was critical to the preservation of its incredible natural resources. The new Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment is expected to raise over $250 million per year over the next 25 years and has already succeeded in preserving miles of trails and river corridors, hundreds of acres of wildlife habitat, and encouraged Minnesota’s residents and visitors to experience the beauty of their natural environment. Without David tireless efforts the future of the state’s greenways and linked open spaces would be less certain.
 
 
Richard Steffes
Richard Steffes
An exemplar of commitment to the protection of Wisconsin’s incredible natural resources, Dick Steffes has translated his love of the American landscape into a lifelong passion for land and water conservation. Over a thirty-six year career at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Dick directed the purchase of over 700,000 acres of land, including the State’s largest fee title land acquisition. His ability to enlist the support of land owners, local communities, corporate partners and conservation groups in safeguarding critical lands and trails has distinguished Dick in his career. The lives of current and future Wisconsin residents and visitors are richly enhanced by the land protected through his efforts.