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The Greenways Plan was last updated and adopted by the local governments in 2009. The plan expands on many goals and objectives that were laid out in the original version and utilizes pro-active measures in bringing about plan implementation. The Plan Goals are grouped into five categories.

  1. Conservation, Environment and Reservation (CER)
  2. Parks and Recreation (PR)
  3. Implementation, Management and Coordination (IMC)
  4. Legal Issues (LI)
  5. Education Issues (EI)

Download  Full Plan

 


The Plan Goals, listed by category:

Conservation, Environment and Reservation (CER)

  1. The protection of environmentally sensitive areas. 
  2. A regional system of greenways that protects sensitive environmental areas and promotes conservation of habitat and endangered species.
  3. Conservation and/or development of greenspace and open space as a consideration in the review of development projects.
  4. Preservation of cultural and historic areas.

Parks and Recreation (PR)

  1. A regional park system that provides for a variety of active and passive recreational activities.
  2. A regional park system that is interconnected by a system of greenways and trails.
  3. Intergovernmental coordination of ro the planning of parks, greenways and trails.
  4. Open space and recreational facilities that are accessible to all residents.

Implementation, Management and Coordination (IMC)

  1. Preservation of greenways as a consideration in the review of development and redevelopment projects.
  2. Preservation of natural areas for public and private use.
  3. Continuted development of a coordinated system of trails and greenways.
  4. A program for funding the acquisition, development and maintenance of greenways.

Legal Issues (LI)

  1. Utilization of a wide variety of legal tools available for developing or preserving greenways and trails.
  2. Expand the use of abandoned railroad rights-of-way for greenways and trails.
  3. A spirit of cooperation in the reservation and implementation of public open space and greenways.

Education Issues (EI)

  1. Public education on the benefits of greenways to the environment in terms of improved air and water quality, the local economy, aesthetics and the overall quality of life.

Want to know how we're doing?

Check out our running updates on actions within each of our goals below.

 

Goal : CER1.1 The protection of environmentally sensitive areas. 

Objective : Definition of criteria for environmentally sensitive areas, to include wetlands, floodplains, lakes, streams, natural restoration areas, endangered species habitat and wooded areas.
Action
CER1.1
Definition of criteria for environmentally sensitive areas, to include wetlands, floodplains, lakes, streams, natural restoration areas, endangered species habitat and wooded areas.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/07/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The Town of Normal defined waterways and streams as part of their Stream Buffer Ordinance in 2009. Efforts to protect and restore these areas are underway. Examples include Anderson Creek restoration and prairie plantings at Fairview Creek. While the streams are mapped using GIS, the quality of streams or the existing ecosystem within the creeks is unknown.

Goal : CER1.2 The protection of environmentally sensitive areas. 

Objective : Mechanisms for mapping environmentally sensitive areas.
Action
CER1.2
Mechanisms for mapping environmentally sensitive areas.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/05/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The County has enhanced its regional GIS capabilities since 2009 in terms of staffing and resources available to staff, including the means to aggregate local GIS layers to the regional perspective. 

Goal : CER1.3 The protection of environmentally sensitive areas. 

Objective : Identification of linkages between environmentally sensitive areas inside the urban areas and those outside the urban area.
Action
CER1.3
Identification of linkages between environmentally sensitive areas inside the urban areas and those outside the urban area.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/05/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The Town of Normal Stream Buffer Ordinance identifies some waterways. The Greenways Plan also identifies how to link different locations and features together.

Goal : CER1.4 The protection of environmentally sensitive areas. 

Objective : Prioritization of environmentally sensitive areas.
Action
CER1.4
Prioritization of environmentally sensitive areas.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/05/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The City of Bloomington has protected Kickapoo Creek and The Grove, which now has a trail through the prairie as well. Also, there is remnant prairie along the proposed Route 66 trail. The Greenways Plan includes a list of future priority areas to bring into stewardship. A number of disparate information sources exist, that, if unified through GIS layers or another tool, would help decisionmakers act with more complete information in one place.

Goal : CER1.5 The protection of environmentally sensitive areas. 

Objective : Identification of stream valleys, drainage ways and other bodies of water that should be protected through greenways.
Action
CER1.5
Identification of stream valleys, drainage ways and other bodies of water that should be protected through greenways.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/19/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The County has a GIS stream layer that may be added to the state-level GIS system, I-View. Within I-View, there is an Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) layer that was produced by the Prairie State Conservation Coalition, a coalition of all the land trusts in Illinois. Again, while the streams are mapped using GIS, the quality of the streams and what's in them is unknown.

Goal : CER2.1 A regional system of greenways that protects sensitive environmental areas and promotes conservation of habitat and endangered species.

Objective : Development of additional trails and/or greenways to enhance the natural areas of the metropolitan area.
Action
CER2.1
Development of additional trails and/or greenways to enhance the natural areas of the metropolitan area.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/05/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The Town of Normal has expanded the Constitution Trail by 2.25 miles since 2009. Route 66 has also been extended from Southwest Bloomington to Shirley and from Normal to Towanda. The Town of Normal has also restored two streambanks, Anderson Creek and prairie plantings at Fairview Creek. In addition, the Greenways Plan includes a list of future priority areas to bring into stewardship.

 

 

 

Goal : CER2.2 A regional system of greenways that protects sensitive environmental areas and promotes conservation of habitat and endangered species.

Objective : Interconnected greenways as a means to preserve habitat and provide a buffer from human activity.
Action
CER2.2
Interconnected greenways as a means to preserve habitat and provide a buffer from human activity.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : CER3.1 Conservation and/or development of greenspace and open space as a consideration in the review of development projects.

Objective : Ordinances that require developers to dedicate resources to the park and public open space system.
Action
CER3.1
Ordinances that require developers to dedicate resources to the park and public open space system.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/19/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The Town of Normal had school and parkland fees even before this 2009 plan. School green space is already accounted for in the county, as all the schools are in the cities. For new subdivisions, there is no new parkland fee that the county would impose in a new neighborhood. 

Goal : CER4.1 Preservation of cultural and historic areas.

Objective : Identification of areas that have a cultural or historic significance.
Action
CER4.1
Ordinances that require developers to dedicate resources to the park and public open space system.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/19/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The Town of Normal has the Van Leer mansion, Sprague's Super Service and Route 66. Cultural and historical significance data exist at the state level, but extracting them requires special clearance. At the national level, there is a proposed amendment to create a listing of the top 10 trails in the country, which would include Route 66, ahead of 2026, the 250th anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, there’s a windfarm where the historical importance was highlighted because the windfarm is in a nature preserve. There's also a historical marker for Kickapoo Creek, denoting its historical significance.
 

 

Goal : CER4.2 Preservation of cultural and historic areas.

Objective : Identification of cultural or historic sites that can be linked to greenways.
Action
CER4.2
Identification of cultural or historic sites that can be linked to greenways.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : CER4.3 Preservation of cultural and historic areas.

Objective : Local programs and measures that encourage the preservation of cultural and historic sites.
Action
CER4.3
Local programs and measures that encourage the preservation of cultural and historic sites.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/05/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Some programs exist, but they are more focused on buildings.

Goal : PR1.1 A regional park system that provides for a variety of active and passive recreational activities.

Objective : Sufficient parks and public open space to reflect the needs of existing and future area residents.
Action
PR1.1
Sufficient parks and public open space to reflect the needs of existing and future area residents.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Since 2009, the Town of Normal has done a master plan and an update. Both the Town of Normal and the City of Bloomington are deficient in terms of square footage of open space per person, though the Town of Normal has added Shepard Park since that year.

Goal : PR1.2 A regional park system that provides for a variety of active and passive recreational activities.

Objective : A reasonable number of facilities to accommodate both active and passive recreational needs.
Action
PR1.2
A reasonable number of facilities to accommodate both active and passive recreational needs.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/07/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

There has been almost no change since 2009, though the City of Bloomington added The Grove and ParkLands Foundation added the Sweeney Nature Preserve. Some interpretive features and ADA-accessible docks were also added in that time. 

Goal : PR2.1 A regional park system that is interconnected by a system of greenways and trails.

Objective : Public and private development of specialized outdoor recreational facilities linked to greenways and trails.
Action
PR2.1
A regional park system that is interconnected by a system of greenways and trails.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : PR2.2 A regional park system that is interconnected by a system of greenways and trails.

Objective : Codes that provide for the reservation of greenways in new development.
Action
PR2.2
Codes that provide for the reservation of greenways in new developments.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/19/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The Town of Normal does have some open space and landscaping requirements in its development codes, but nothing new since 2009.

Goal : PR3.1 Intergovernmental coordination for the planning of parks, greenways and trails.

Objective : A mechanism for continuing dialogue that supports regional cooperation and coordination in the planning and provision of parks and public open space.
Action
PR3.1
A mechanism for continuing dialogue that supports regional cooperation and coordination in the planning and provision of parks and public open space.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The staff at the various local agencies have a good working relationship and have expressed common overall goals for future greenways planning in both rural and urban areas. However, this is typically contingent on funding and what the local agencies can or cannot do with the limited resources that are available. The trail system is also well coordinated. Bloomington and Normal have a strong history of cooperation on the Constitution Trail dating back to its inception. (Nothing built since 2009 was a cross-border kind of project, though.) The trail segments that the Town has built since 2009 have been entirely in Normal, so no cooperation was required. Both jurisdictions also have a longstanding good relationship with the County on the Route 66 trail.

Goal : PR4.1 Open space and recreational facilities that are accessible to all residents.

Objective : A plan and capital improvements program that supports the development of public and private parks and open space that is accessible to all residents.
Action
PR4.1
A plan and capital improvements program that supports the development of public and private parks and open space that is accessible to all residents.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The Town of Normal has an updated Master Parks and Open Space Plan, and it addresses accessibility for those with mobility impairments. The Town of Normal has also changed some things at playgrounds to improve this sort of accessibility and has detention basins that could be available to the public if access were built and promoted.

Goal : PR4.2 Open space and recreational facilities that are accessible to all residents.

Objective : A process for the review and monitoring of area needs for park land.
Action
PR4.2
A process for the review and monitoring of area needs for park land.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : IMC1.1 Preservation of greenways as a consideration in the review of development and redevelopment projects.

Objective : Identification of development standards for greenways.
Action
IMC1.1
Identification of development standards for greenways.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  11/19/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The Town of Normal has a significant tree preservation ordinance, which protects large trees.  If they are removed, they must be replaced with a lot of new trees.  The Town of Normal also requires that existing vegetative screens along property lines be maintained. The Town of Normal's stream buffer ordinance also protects greenways.

Goal : IMC1.2 Preservation of greenways as a consideration in hte review of development and redevelopment projects.

Objective : Identification of regional greenways and greenway linkages.
Action
IMC1.2
Identification of regional greenways and greenway linkages.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : IMC1.3 Preservation of greenways as a consideration in the review of development and redevelopment projects.

Objective : Development and implementation of restoration standards for greenways that maximize conservation opportunities.
Action
IMC1.3
Development and implementation of restoration standards for greenways that maximize conservation opportunities.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : IMC2.1 Preservation of natural areas for public and private use.

Objective : Identification and dedication of natural areas in new developments.
Action
IMC2.1
Identification and dedication of natural areas in new developments.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Just open space and parks, including the Town of Normal's stream buffer ordinance, are handled this way without consideration of natural area status or capability through restoration. 

Goal : IMC2.2 Preservation of natural areas for public and private use.

Objective : A process that encourages reservation through innovative means such as conservation easements.
Action
IMC2.2
A process that encourages reservation through innovative means such as conservation easements.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Only ParkLands Foundation offers conservation easements in the Mackinaw River watershed. However, there is a major need for another entity to offer conservation easements to areas in the other McLean County watersheds (Sugar Grove Foundation may still do that for lands contiguous to Funks Grove). There is interest in conservation easements in the Kickapoo Creek watershed, but there was no conservation-based organization available to provide an easement or accept a donation. The area also needs consistent codes that are enforceable.  Developers and planners need to be aware of the requirements at the start of a project to avoid conflict during the review process.

Goal : IMC3.1 Continued development of a coordinated system of trails and greenways.

Objective : An advisory committee that includes representatives from local government and stakeholders to promote coordinated implementation of the greenways plan.
Action
IMC3.1
An advisory committee that includes representatives from local government and stakeholders to promote coordinated implementation of the greenways plan.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : IMC3.2 Continued development of a coordinated system of trails and greenways.

Objective : A process that integrates the interests of private landowners into the implementation of the greenways plan.
Action
IMC3.2
A process that integrates the interests of private landowners into the implementation of the greenways plan.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : IMC4.1 A program for funding the acquisition, development and maintenance of greenways.

Objective : A process of capital improvement funding to help implement the greenways plan.
Action
IMC4.1
A process of capital improvement funding to help implement the greenways plan.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : IMC4.2 A program for funding the acquisition, development and maintenance of greenways.

Objective : Pursuit of innovative funding sources such as grants and impact fees.
Action
IMC4.2
Pursuit of innovative funding sources such as grants and impact fees.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : LI1.1 Utilization of a wide variety of legal tools available for developing or preserving greenways and trails.

Objective : Consideration of conservation districts, conservation easements, utility easements and other mechanisms for greenway development in McLean County.
Action
LI1.1
Consideration of conservation districts, conservation easements, utility easements and other mechanisms for greenway development in McLean County.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

ParkLands Foundation formed as a de facto conservation district that does fee simple acquisition, accepts donated land, and does conservation easements, but only in the Mackinaw River watershed. Therefore vast stretches of our county go uncovered and conservation opportunities are being lost. However, the Town of Normal also has the stream buffer ordinance. 

Goal : LI2.1 Expand the use of abandoned railroad rights-of-way for greenways and trails.

Objective : Cooperation and coordination with railroad companies in the acquisition of existing or future abandoned railroad rights-of-way.
Action
LI2.1
Cooperation and coordination with railroad companies in the acquisition of existing or future abandoned railroad rights-of-way.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

The Town of Normal passed a resolution in favor of the Norfolk Southern trail project. The main update for this goal is that Norfolk Southern is currently in the process of removing the existing railroad from Bloomington to Farmer City. At this time, all of the railroad crossings along this line have been removed within McLean County. A different contractor is currently removing the actual rail from this abandoned line.

Goal : LI3.1 A spirit of cooperation in the reservation and implementation of public open space and greenways.

Objective : Establishment of a mechanism that provides an opportunity for a continuous open dialogue and exchange of information with interested citizens, government agencies, private developers or landowners adjacent to potential greenway sites.
Action
LI3.1
Establishment of a mechanism that provides an opportunity for a continuous open dialogue and exchange of information with interested citizens, government agencies, private developers or landowners adjacent to potential greenway sites.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  Not Started
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Goal : EI1.1 Public education on the benefits of greenways to the environment in terms of improved air and water quality, the local economy, aesthetics, and the overall quality of life.

Objective : Identification of audiences to be targeted for greenways education and methods of outreach to engage these audiences.
Action
EI1.1
Identification of audiences to be targeted for greenways education and methods of outreach to engage these audiences.
Agency:  
Timeline:  
Last Updated:  08/29/2018
Progress:  0-25%
Work Products:  
Action Updates:  

Through the Town of Normal Parks Department, there might be some education of residents along creeks, encouraging them not to mow, etc.