Lillie Mae Jones - Richmond Greenway

Timeline created by anne_twp
  • Lillie Mae Jones is born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

  • Lillie moves from Mississippi to Richmond with her family.

    Lillie moves from Mississippi to Richmond with her family.
    During World War II, Lillie's stepfather migrated to Richmond to work in the World War II Kaiser shipyards, and her mother found work in the U.S. Post Office in Richmond.
  • Lillie Mae Jones pursues her education in the 1950's.

    Lillie's experiences from living in Richmond during a time of great racial tension inspired her to work in community organizing. She received a bachelors degree from Kennedy University before furthering her education in community organizing through the School of Community Empowerment. The methods she learned there allowed her to carry out many successful community projects.
  • Began advocating to turn the former Santa Fe railroad tracks into the Richmond Greenway.

    Began advocating to turn the former Santa Fe railroad tracks into the Richmond Greenway.
    The railroad tracks, located in the Iron Triangle neighborhood, divided the community and attracted crime. Homeless encampments abounded, drugs were openly sold, and unwanted furniture, bags of garbage and other debris were routinely dropped off there. Lillie imagined the Richmond Greenway would transform these tracks into a bicycle and pedestrian path filled with community gardens, benches and other amenities that offer a respite from the city environment.
  • The last railway train runs along the Santa Fe tracks that would eventually become the Richmond Greenway.

  • The Central Richmond Greenway Study is completed by the City of Richmond.

    The Central Richmond Greenway Study is completed by the City of Richmond.
    The study included plans to turn the railroad tracks into the Richmond Greenway, but unfortunately, funding and staffing cuts delayed implementation of the plan.
  • The City of Richmond removes the railroad tracks and smooths the land into a path.

    The City of Richmond removes the railroad tracks and smooths the land into a path.
  • The Richmond Greenway Master Plan is developed.

    The Richmond Greenway Master Plan is developed.
    Lillie, the City of Richmond, and other community organizations led an extensive community-based planning process to develop the master plan. This ensured the plans for the Greenway would include the community's preferences and priorities.
  • Construction begins on the Richmond Greenway.

    Construction begins on the Richmond Greenway.
    During this same year, Friends of the Richmond Greenway (FORG) was formed to bring together organizations to develop and maintain the Greenway, through neighborhood involvement, and to ensure that the Greenway is attractive, well-maintained and safe.
  • The Richmond Greenway is officially adopted as a City of Richmond public park.

    The Richmond Greenway is officially adopted as a City of Richmond public park.
  • Lillie Mae Jones passes away at home in Richmond at age 85.

  • The City of Richmond renames the bicycle and pedestrian portion of the Richmond Greenway to the Lillie Mae Jones trail.

    The City of Richmond renames the bicycle and pedestrian portion of the Richmond Greenway to the Lillie Mae Jones trail.
    “She was always a champion for anything that would improve the quality of life in the Iron Triangle: for housing, parks, for jobs, crime prevention, education, you name it,” said Richmond Mayor Tom Butt. “And she really was the champion of the Richmond Greenway and helped people understand it would be a real asset for the community.”