History & Timeline
The idea for the Gordon River Greenway started in 1987 during a visit by the American Institute of Architects’ Regional Urban Design Assistance Team. The community discussions that followed about recreation and open space led to the founding of the Southwest Florida Land Preservation Trust (SWFLPT), a Florida-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, in 1988.
In 2004 Collier County residents voted to tax themselves to acquire 140 acres of land on the Gordon River that forms the largest part of the Greenway. With that land in county ownership, the SWFLPT helped bring together stakeholders including the City of Naples, Collier County, Conservation Collier, the Naples Municipal Airport, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida and the Naples Zoo to work together in a collaborative approach in designing all the separately-owned parcels of the Greenway.
Collier County completed the construction and opened the Greenway Park on the Collier County Gordon River Greenway Park and the Conservation Collier Gordon River Greenway Preserve in 2014.
The Naples Airport Authority has built perimeter sidewalks around the airport that connect to the Greenway and provide access from the main road. They also removed substantial amounts of exotic vegetation, and rebuilt paths and a pond near North Road.
The final piece of Gordon River Greenway was complete in 2018 when the City of Naples completed the Blair Foundation Bridge that connects Baker Park to the existing trails, providing visitors with a 2-mile corridor extending from Golden Gate Parkway to the heart of Naples.
The SWFLPT has completed the work building pathways from the county segment to the city.
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida went through a master planning process and has built a new access road and prepared for interconnections with the Zoo and the Greenway.
The Zoo engaged in a master planning process and realigned the northern and southern boundaries of their lease with the county facilitating the expanded parking lot.