Winnebago and Boone County Greenways Plan

Our Purpose

To promote a regional greenway network that protects natural, cultural, and scenic resources.

Additionally the Greewnays Plan provides recreational benefits; enhances natural beauty; improves environmental quality as well as stimulates economic development.


To provide a comprehensive regional planning tool for government agencies and others involved in land use planning, natural areas preservation, transportation and recreation. To coordinate transportation planning with the greenways planning process. To reduce conflicts with development activities and offset the negative and costly impacts of urban sprawl.



Increases the level of understanding regarding the importance and value of greenways and encourages stewardship of natural and cultural resources.

Natural Area Protection

Provides a resource for community leaders, organizations, and individuals making decisions about which natural areas should be protected.


Identifies the high quality outdoor recreational resources that define the character of the region.

Government Coordination

Provides a means by which the numerous government agencies in the two counties can coordinate their efforts in regard to greenway protection. This allows for a continuing forum for discussion among governmental jurisdictions and the private sector. This also coordinates land acquisition plans among government agencies and assists these agencies in allocating resources for natural areas and trails.

Growth Management

Provides a tool to help communities guide growth and development away from valuable natural resources and toward existing infrastructure.

Economic Development

Promotes natural and outdoor recreation areas improve our quality of life, help retain our current populace, and attract others who desire to live in an area with high-quality outdoor recreational pursuits.

Wildlife Protection

Promotes corridors along waterways that create an interconnected network of greenways that supports wildlife habitats and maintains ecological processes. Plants and animals must be able to move around in order to survive. Greenways provide that connection.

Environmental Quality

Encourage greenway protection that will reduce flood damage, improve water quality, and provide areas that can recharge underground aquifers.

Participating Agencies

Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Boone County Soil & Water Conservation District
Boone County Conservation District
Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Rockford Park District
Belvidere Park District
Winnebago County Soil & Water Conservation District
Natural Land Institute