Source: Eagle Country, 99.3 FM
By: One Dearborn, Inc.
Retired Great Parks of Hamilton County CEO Will Lead Dearborn Co. Trails Assessment
(Dearborn Co., Ind.) - A new partnership is a big step toward the improvement and creation of trails within Dearborn County and their connection into neighboring counties.
One Dearborn, the local economic development organization (LEDO) for Dearborn County, has contracted with county resident Jack Sutton to conduct a “State of Trails in Dearborn County” report in 2020.
“Having a strong network of multi-use trails that connect people and communities will ensure Dearborn County remains a great place to live, work & play. I look forward to working with One Dearborn and our community leaders in planning for the future,” says Sutton.
Sutton brings a high level of expertise in enhancing outdoor recreation and preserving natural resources in the Cincinnati region. He retired as the chief executive officer of the award-winning Great Parks of Hamilton County in May 2019 following a career which began with the public park system in 1989. Prior to serving as CEO, he held positions including park planner, planning director and deputy director. Sutton has served as chairman of the Hamilton County Natural Resources Assistance Council. He also served on the board of Green Umbrella, a sustainability alliance dedicated to the environmental health and vitality of the region, and the Tri-State Trails Committee. Additionally, Sutton is a committee member helping with the formation of the Ohio River Recreation Trail.
The foundational “State of Trails in Dearborn County” report will give Dearborn County’s local governments, as well as non-profits and businesses with interests in trails, a common document from which to continue and enhance their trails planning and implementation efforts. It may also become a first step toward development of a Comprehensive Trails Master Plan for Dearborn County. Having such a master plan in place would allow those entities to check off a key qualification for obtaining grant funding.
Sutton’s work under the contract will consist of four tasks:
Inventory and analysis of existing trail assets and initiatives;
Identification of potential funding resources for trail-related planning and construction;
Preparation of an executive summary report documenting findings and next steps;
Sharing the project findings with city and county officials, community stakeholder groups and citizens.
Trail connectivity is one of the Big 8 Economic Development Drivers identified in the One Dearborn County Regional Economic Development Action Plan. The plan prioritizes extensions and improvements of the Dearborn Trail and Aurora Riverfront Trail, completing segments of Bright trails, and new trail projects across the county.
“Not only does Jack Sutton have a zeal for the outdoors and recreation, but his professional and volunteer experience brings a unique and deep understanding of how to inventory trail and park assets across multiple communities. Jack is the perfect person to lead this important project,” says One Dearborn President and CEO Terri Randall.
One Dearborn will play a supporting role behind Sutton’s work.
Sutton’s report may also compliment One Dearborn’s August 2019 Dearborn County Housing Market Analysis & Implementation Action Plan in planning for neighborhood growth. Greenway trails are shown to have a significant positive impact on housing preferences and increase home values near the trails.
“As One Dearborn strives to improve the quality of life for all in Dearborn County, understanding trails is increasingly vital to that discussion,” Randall adds.
For more information on One Dearborn or to access the Dearborn County Regional Economic Development Plan or Dearborn County Housing Market Analysis & Implementation Action Plan, visit www.1dearborn.org/reports.