Projecting the Economic Benefits of the Naugatuck River Greenway
The Naugatuck River Greenway (NRG) is a planned 44-mile long regional greenway and trail that will extend from Torrington in the north to Derby in the south, passing through eleven communities. Once completed, the NRG will provide a non-motorized transportation facility for walkers and cyclists and enhance public access to the Naugatuck River. In Spring of 2015 the Naugatuck River Greenway Steering Committee, with members from each of the eleven NRG communities, and the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments approached the University of Connecticut to assist to better understand potential economic impacts of the proposed trail as well as best practices for helping local communities capitalize on the trail when it is completed. To date, a literature review regarding trail impact studies and background on the NRG has been completed and partners have co-designed the economic impact analysis and trail user survey that will be assessed this fall. While the analysis will be completed in spring 2015, these early collaborations have led to additional partnerships with the UConn Business School Center for Economic Analysis, the statewide Greenways Council, and a grant proposal for a broader statewide trail data collection project.