Nevada History by John C. Evanoff is excited to present this series of articles by noted author and poet, John C. Evanoff. John will tell us about Nevada history and cover some of the more remote and unusual things to see and do in Northern Nevada.

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The Trails of Reno

Greenbelt and Parks on the Horizon
July , 2008
By John Evanoff

Within another decade and hopefully by 2020 at the most, Reno will have almost all the trails and parks in the Truckee Meadows connected to the Truckee River Corridor. That is the plan at least. I served on several committees while with Truckee Meadows Tomorrow between 1999 and 2005, one of which I was extremely interested in for the sake of countless future generations. The Open Space and Greenways Plan was a result of interested parties and communities all around the area getting together and finding ways to fit the pieces together. Staff at the Parks and Recreation Department, Planning Department and several other departments of the City of Reno, US Forest Service and BLM, initiated open forums to acquire ideas from these interested folks from the community. About a dozen of us were some of the first to initiate a call for committing to a plan to secure trail rights and park cohesiveness within the boundaries of the entire valley. That group eventually grew to over a hundred individuals and many talented people came together and began the research to conduct surveys to build a project that could be added to the master plan for the entire Truckee Meadows. This plan, still being drawn up, but close to being partially implemented, will assure everyone in Reno and Sparks a well maintained and enjoyable way to walk or bike from the outskirts of every corner of the valley to the Truckee River Greenbelt trail which will extend from west of Verdi at Crystal Peak Park all the way to Vista at the east end of Sparks. Some of the trails already exist and it is the intention of these folks to further assemble that dream.

There are also plans to include trails from Galena Creek on Mount Rose, the Tahoe Rim Trail, Washoe Lake and Pleasant Valley, Steamboat and Virginia Foothills, Peavine, Dog Valley and all the North Valleys. This ambitious part of the plan will take decades to complete, but the interest is there, especially from the biking community. If you only have a little time, take some of it and look through the website links I included in this article. They will give you a better idea of what to look forward to and how to get involved.

This is also an opportunity for those of you who are looking for trails to construct and be part of how parks and greenbelt areas are shaped in the community. One of the tasks I was most interested in is how to build wildlife bridges and tunnels around, over and through high traffic areas such as Highway 80 and McCarran Blvd so migrating herds of wild animals are assured of easy access. These wildlife corridors reduce road kill and have been successful in many instances. We can build trails and wildlife corridors without invasive tactics and at the same time be free to move around in our vehicles without destroying flora and fauna. I was also interested in making sure the trails were wide enough to support wheelchairs, three wheeled bicycles, mountain bikes and trekkers all at the same time. This would insure whole access so people of all capabilities would be able to enjoy the sites and sounds of our wonderful Northern Nevada. Another important part of the equation was maintenance. We knew trash and dumping might be a problem in rural areas, so we added neighborhood committees that would support trail clean up and maintenance days. Some of the trails, including the many ditch and creek trails in the vicinity already are in need of repair and many need rebuilt altogether. A support group much like the Tahoe Rim Trail would be necessary to make sure that task was taken care of so trails remain safe and well maintained through the years. These steps are small considering we would be saving the rare spectacles of our valley and enriching ourselves and many generations after us with exercise and social interaction.

I know I rarely move away from stories of Northern Nevada and the people who made this area wonderful, but this is a chance for you to be part of future stories by some other writer who might want to find out the responsible parties for making the Truckee Meadows one of the most trail and park friendly regions in the world. Take a look at the sites and download the Resource and Opportunity Map included in the City of Reno site I attached. If nothing else, you will have another map to add to your collection for future walks and rides. Next time, I’ll write a little about some of my past rides and walks on a few of these trails. Good trekking to you and yours.

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