Greenways and Trails

Greenways and Trails

On March 10, 2009, the Jo Daviess County Board adopted the Jo Daviess County Greenways & Trails Plan as an amendment to the county's comprehensive plan.  The plan brings information together in a usable format to enhance our understanding of the county's resources and the greenway and trail opportunities that exist here.  The Plan is now available to the public and can be used in many ways.

The Greenways & Trails Plan is a reference tool for communities and entities interested in greenway and/or trail development and maintenance.  Reference to the plan in pertinent grant applications generally increases the likelihood of project funding.  The Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals can use the plan as a reference tool when considering development proposals.  The plan provides  a starting point for regional planning: the other five counties in the Blackhawk Hills RC&D area (Stephenson, Ogle, Lee, Carroll, and Whiteside) have also completed greenways and trails plans, and it is likely that a 6-county regional plan will be developed now that the Jo Daviess County's Plan has been adopted.  The plan provides residents with educational information about the resources in the county and contact information for land stewardship guidance.

What are Greenways and Trails?

A greenway is a corridor of open land that is designated for conservation and/or recreation.  Greenways may follow natural land or water features such as rivers, shorelines or ridges, or human landscape features such as abandoned railroad corridors, trails or canals.  Greenways may form connections between communities, parks, historic and cultural sites, and nature preserves.  Greenways differ in their location and function.  Overall, a greenway can provide:

  • Recreational benefits,
  • Protect natural areas,
  • Protect water quality,
  • Enhance natural beauty and quality of life in neighborhoods and communities,
  • Buffer incompatible or adjacent land uses,
  • Stimulate economic development opportunities.

A trail or path is a type of greenway that is separated from vehicular traffic and is dedicated to the use of pedestrians, bicyclists, roller skaters, wheelchair users, etc.  Trails can be used for recreational purposes as well as to connect different sites and facilities.

What Greenways and Trails are not

  • Greenways are NOT all owned by the government.
  • Greenways do NOT need to be fenced.
  • Greenways do NOT take land from people.
  • Greenways do NOT require public access on all the land



Draft narrative (236 kb) Adopted by the Jo Daviess
County Board on 3/10/09
Plan Attachments
Additional documents