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The Grand Concourse is an integrated walkway and green space network connecting 10 municipalities in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It has over 200 kilometers (120 mi) of walkways linking every major park, river, pond, and green space in the Northeast Avalon region. The Grand Concourse is managed by the Grand Concourse Authority, a non-profit organization with a Board of Directors made up of representatives from a variety of community-based and government groups.

Origins

The Grand Concourse was first developed through the generosity of the Johnson Family Foundation with Paul Johnson as its president and founder. A series of studies commissioned between 1989 and 1992 by the Foundation established the feasibility of connecting walks and parks via the publicly owned shorelines of aquatic networks throughout the St. John's Urban Region.[1] Trails had already been built by St. John's, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Parks Canada, and the Quidi Vidi/Rennie's River Development Foundation, providing a start for the Grand Concourse. Four demonstration Walkways were built by the Johnson Family Foundation:

An overall plan was developed to extend the Walkway Network from Signal Hill in the east, to Octagon Pond in the west. This plan was completed in 2004 but efforts continue by involved members to maintain and further develop the Grand Concourse.

The Grand Concourse Authority

In 1994, the Grand Concourse Authority (GCA) was established under a Provincial Charter with a mandate to design and construct the Grand Concourse.[2] It is a charitable, non-profit organization, currently comprising 15 member groups who contribute funds for operations. Members have included Crown Corporations, Community Organizations, and all levels of Government.

Together the Members of the GCA have completed over 350 community-development projects since 1994. As of 2006, the cost to construct the Walkway Network was well over $27 million.[3]

Today, the GCA runs an extensive maintenance program, primarily in the City of St. John's, while continuing walkway expansion throughout the Northeast Avalon Region of Newfoundland. The Authority also participates in various environmental initiatives, open space and park development projects, as well as promotion and public education[4]

List of Members

The following municipalities, agencies, crown corporations, and organizations make up the Board of the Grand Concourse Authority: