Steps to Build a Blue Trail: Plan

Plan for Conservation

Waccamaw River - credit Charles SlateBlue Trails have long been known for the variety of benefits they provide to communities. They are touted for their ability to enhance recreational opportunities and boost local economies.  They allow people to live more active lives. They can even preserve historic places and strengthen community identity. Blue Trails do all this and more.

Blue Trails also have the ability to protect and restore the natural environment. Communities across the country are realizing this and beginning to plan for conservation when creating Blue Trails whether it is organizing trash cleanups, developing signs with Leave No Trace information, enhancing access and navigability by removing dams that no longer make sense, protecting riverside lands against poorly planned development – the list goes on.

By planning for these improvements, your community will reap the benefits of greater recreational opportunities and healthier rivers now and for years to come.

When planning your Blue Trail, it is important to identify short and long term goals for improving the health of your river. It is important that these goals are priorities for your community. Identify who needs to be involved and what needs to happen to make these short and long term goals a reality.

Every community and river is unique. Read examples of how communities across the country have enhanced recreational opportunities and improved the health if their water bodies at Resources: Case Studies.

To learn more about developing an action plan see Build a Blue Trail: Build for Conservation.