Rails–to-Trails Conservancy’s Midwest Regional Office just moved shop! Our relocation to Yellow Springs, Ohio, was celebrated in style in mid-October.
Yellow Springs is the quintessential trail town, complete with community involvement and great support for trails.
Amy Magnus, local resident and blogger for the Yellow Springs News, reported on the event. She remembers when rail-trail conversions first began decades ago and how the idea of reusing these corridors was an automatic win-win in her mind.
Here in Yellow Springs during the 1970s and 1980s, local residents saw what I saw … a railway that could be converted from private holding to a community asset and connector … but they saw this opportunity in time to do something about it. Their challenges were far greater than ours would have been in Nichols, New York. The heavy wooded ties were still in place along the Little Miami and firmly compacted into the ground.
Oddly enough, the herculean effort required to remove the long, flat, heavy barricade may have been the very thing in Yellow Springs that preserved the opportunity that my hometown let pass. As it was, the plan to install a hike and bike path through the village was not universally accepted. Many resisted voicing serious concerns about safety and the impact to Glen Helen; others had strong reservations about the culture shift that the pathway heralded. Still the bold plan moved forward, bolstered by an anonymous donor, enabling the village to take full advantage of the windowed opportunity.
From the Elroy-Sparta State Trail to the Ohio-to-Erie Trail, corridors in the Midwest are some of the most cherished in the entire country. From the new Yellow Springs office, RTC will continue to work to advance trail development and policy in the region!