Connectivity in Wake County - a strategic analysis of the Wake County Consolidated Open Space Plan - greenways

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Master of Natural Resources Professional Papers (North Carolina State University. College of Natural Resources)

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North Carolina State University. College of Natural Resources


Bukowy, Catherine. Master of Natural Resources – Policy and Management. Connectivity in Wake County – A Strategic Analysis of the Wake County Consolidated Open Space Plan – Greenways. Wake County has identified the preservation and management of open space as a high priority for the county. One component of the open space plan is greenways, which are to help provide connectivity between natural areas, people and nature, and further aide in the protection of water and air quality. While these goals have been marked, and progress has been made, it has been done without detailed strategic planning and reflection and with only modest operational input. The purpose of this project is to assess the progress of greenways planning in the county based on the Consolidated Open Space Plan of 2006. The assessment relied on stakeholder input, as well as literature review of greenway planning in other areas and GIS analysis to determine if the county is on track to meeting its stated objectives. Review of the COSP reveals the use of multiple definitions of greenways, a nonspecific plan for greenway creation, and a detailed plan for greenway building. It is recommended that Wake County create a single definition on which to base its future greenway planning. Further data on the natural resources available within the county, as well as the true location of current greenways should be attained and placed in a geographic information systems database. GIS can assist in locating priority areas for natural resource conservation that may otherwise be indiscernible. Additional discussion with stakeholders concludes that there is great interest in the county in building greenways; however, Wake County would like to act more as a silent partner, assisting in land acquisition and possibly funding construction. Although there is great support from leaders in various governments, non-profit, and private groups the citizen voice through public involvement is little used. Land acquisitions have been previously funded through citizen approved bonds. Bonds have proven an unstable mechanism amidst the current economic crisis and another funding mechanism should be sought.



greenway, connectivity, Wake County, open space