Ozark Greenways gets new Executive Director

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - There's a new face in charge of Ozark Greenways, Mary Kromrey will serve as the new Executive Director. She follows the footsteps of Terry Whaley who served as the organization's Executive Director for more than 20 years.

Kromrey said one of her main goals is connecting all of the Greenway trails throughout the Ozarks. "Lots of folks are going to other communities and are seeing these interconnected systems of trails and sidewalks and bike lanes and I really want to help further and maybe even quicken that story a little bit here in Springfield," she said. "We are a really special place, we are the Queen City of the Ozarks, and I want to see this wonderful amenity be here for all of our residents and visitors too."

Kromrey started her work with Ozark Greenways Incorporated in February of 2016. Before that, she served as a board member. She said the outdoors in the Ozarks can be a huge economic engine because more people use and discover the trails every day. "Folks are able to just take a desk break ... It makes you feel good, changes your whole outlook for the day and you can go back and be a better person," said Kromrey of time spent on the trails.

She added that one of the best parts of the Ozark Greenways trail system is how it's a judgement free zone for everyone. "The trail doesn't care," she said. "They don't care if you're fast or slow, or you're having a good day or a bad day, and so it's really welcoming." All of the Ozark Greenways paths are 10-feet wide and paved, a feature Kromrey said makes them accessible to everyone.

Some up-coming projects include expanding the James River Greenway and filling in a gap along the Fullbright Spring Greenway.