Walkers, runners and cyclist share space on boardwalks built to protect the East Coast Greenway.

East Coast Greenway Alliance

The East Coast Greenway brings the joy of outdoor trails to people’s doorsteps throughout our 3,000-mile corridor, which includes cities like Philadelphia and 450 other communities, large and small, from Maine to Florida. As we develop welcoming, mostly ADA-accessible linear parks, we connect people of all sizes, ethnicities, ages, and abilities to the outdoors and to each other. The work is paying off: The greenway recently became the most visited park in America.

The U.S. has a history of inequitable infrastructure design and construction. This has contributed significantly to systemic racism and environmental injustice and has created grave community health implications. We see these disparities even more clearly through the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 and the climate crisis on certain groups, especially communities of color and lower income communities.

To confront these inequities, we helped develop an Inclusionary Trail Planning Toolkit to ensure that there is community partnership and inclusion in the development of the East Coast Greenway. We convene community and advocate groups to hold collective conversations and listen. Our staff and volunteers are immersed as members of the community and involved in public meetings. We support transportation and parks planning processes and work with elected leaders to inspire public investment in the East Coast Greenway as a transportation, environmental, and community asset.

Our goal is to create a greenway network that connects people to destinations, so that it will be easy and preferable to commute, do errands, exercise, and travel on foot or by bicycle instead of by car. Our work has already demonstrated positive environmental impacts: A recent Impact Study conducted in the Triangle Region of North Carolina found that our 72 miles of connected East Coast Greenway in the region reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.1 million tons per year.

Today, people are more disconnected than ever from the ecosystems we depend on. We aim to build a safe, accessible antidote to that disconnection. By welcoming people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy nature’s beauty in a greenway, we are establishing lifelong bonds between people and nature.

East Coast Greenway map
East Coast Greenway map

To learn more, visit https://www.greenway.org