The Mission of the Greenway Foundation is to advance the South Platte River and the surrounding tributaries as a unique environmental, recreational, cultural, scientific and historical amenity that uniquely links our City's past and its future. This mission will be accomplished by creating ongoing environmental and riparian enhancements; holding property, when needed, in conservation easements; utilizing the River as an outdoor and historical learning resource, hosting free cultural events promoting the relationship between the River and music, art and theatre, providing youth employment opportunities, and by promoting good stewardship through hands-on educational programs.
Since 1974 The Greenway Foundation has:
- Led the effort to reclaim the South Platte River and its tributaries from a virtual cesspool to a place of environmental and recreational pride
- Constructed more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails
- Created 20+ parks and natural areas
- Designed and built numerous whitewater boat chutes
- Vastly improved the health of the South Platte River Watershed and its habitats
- Provided environmental education to more than 70,000 school children
- Employed more than 100 teenagers in youth employment programs
- Helped create over $100 million of green improvements to the South Platte River and its tributaries, facilitating over $10 billion in residential and commercial development throughout the Denver Metro area.
Indeed, the South Platte River is a lifeline, an anchor for business and residential development, for the health and enrichment of Denver citizens in dozens of ways:
The Foundation's SPREE program and new River Rangers program have been successful at connecting Denver area children and teens to the "nature in their own backyard." This connection has wide-ranging benefits, from expanding young people's career horizons to preventing childhood obesity.
The planned River Vision riparian and environmental enhancements will be accompanied by expansion and repair of the existing trail system. Some of Denver's poorest neighborhoods will see new access to the River as well as new or enhanced parks and wetlands.
Thousands of people will participate in the Foundation's riverside events in 2011. Hundreds of thousands will use the trails and paths, uncounted numbers will boat and fish the River, hike, bike, skate and kayak - young and old, able-bodied and disabled, residents and tourists.
The effect of rivers and oceans upon people is profound. Greenway's educational programs are enriched by children's experiences on the River. Our concerts, art, and cultural activities draw people down to the River, and the River itself makes each experience extraordinary. The Greenway Foundation believes that environmental stewardship can only be accomplished when citizens love their River, and that happens best through arts and education on the urban South Platte River.
"I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff and Joe Shoemaker and the great group of people involved with Greenway Foundation. What they have accomplished with the Platte River is nothing short of amazing. We have worked together closely since then and their accomplishments have increased year by year." - Mark Smith
"Thank you for teaching us all about nature." -SPREE Student Nyah