Last week, Platte County and the Cities of Riverside and Parkville celebrated a new connector along the Missouri River levee that allows people to walk or bike “from Costco to English Landing Park,” as one trail user described it.
The gap between the Riverside and Parkville sections of the Missouri Riverfront Trail was only 700 feet long, but the effort required to close that gap could be described as Herculean.
Noel Bennion knows better than most that taking an infrastructure idea from draft to completion can be a fraught process. Noel is currently the Capital Projects and Parks Manager for the City of Riverside, but she’s been working to close this gap since her time as Senior Park Planner at Platte County Parks and Recreation.
“It’s important to be able to share a vision,” Noel says, “and then also being able to listen to people’s needs…. You do want to be respectful of your neighbors and help people understand that change is coming.”
Because the Missouri Riverfront Trail at times cuts through industrial areas, climbs to the top of the levee, and runs parallel to an active railroad line, planning and building the connector demanded careful negotiations and lots of patience.
“There were a lot of unknowns. I think it was good for Riverside and the County to work together to partner with the Levee District. It was several years in the making, but this partnership has been really good for everyone,” Noel says.
The new Missouri Riverfront Trail section is the latest in a series of connecting projects, including the Linear Trail, InterUrban Trail, and Jumping Branch Trail. At the ribbon cutting, several leaders from all of the involved municipalities extolled the value of linking people and places in the Northland. “This is about more than a trail,” said Daniel Erickson, Director of Parks. “It’s about connections.”
Read the Platte County Park System Master Plan and learn more about the future of trails in the Northland: https://www.plattecountyedc.com/wp-content/uploads/Parks-Plan-executive_summary.pdf
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