The History of the Trail System
The Greenway Foundation is one of the partners that built the 100+ miles of hiking and biking trails in Metro Denver. Look at the new River Vision Master Plans to see what upcoming projects we have planned for the South Platte River.
On June 16, 1965 fourteen inches of rain fell in just over four hours sending a torrent of water down the South Platte River through the heart of Denver. The resulting flood was the most devastating natural disaster in Denver’s history. Homes, bridges, and businesses were destroyed and washed away. As the floodwaters began to recede, debris littered the South Platte River from city limit to city limit.
In 1974, Denver Mayor Bill McNichols appointed State Senator Joe Shoemaker as chairman of the Platte River Development Committee (PRDC). The Committee was charged with initiating the reclamation of the South Platte River. As the work along the South Platte began, it quickly became evident that funding from the city alone would not be sufficient for the ambitious reclamation goals of the PRDC.
In 1976, the PRDC evolved into The Greenway Foundation (TGF), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on the solicitation and obtainment of public and private contributions with a mission to revitalize, restore, and reclaim the South Platte River as an environmental, recreational, cultural, scientific, and historical amenity for the city of Denver.
Over the course of the last 38 years, TGF has partnered with numerous public, private, and philanthropic organizations to collectively create over 100 miles of riverside trails, over 100 acres of riverside parks and natural areas, over 100,000 linear feet of water quality and recreational improvements with the River, and invest over $100 Million in green improvements along the South Platte River and its tributaries in Metro Denver. This ongoing commitment to Denver’s greatest natural resource has resulted in over $10 Billion of economic benefits to the areas adjacent to the River.