The concept for the River of Grass Greenway (ROGG) was originally conceived by members of the Naples Pathways Coalition (NPC) that formed a committee in 2006 to explore the idea for a pathway separated from US 41 that would allow folks of all ages and all abilities the opportunity to safely experience the Everglades at a slow pace, outside of their cars. The idea was for a pathway that could be used by walkers, cyclists, bird-watchers, photographers, fishermen, and more. An important focus of the pathway is the potential for environmental education and stewardship with a strong desire by the committee for the pathway to be built with the least amount of environmental impact. This concept was rooted in the supporters’ deep interests in the Everglades region and a strong environmentally-based understanding for the environment.
Between 2006 and 2009, the NPC presented the concept of the ROGG across the South Florida region and worked to obtain letters of support from municipalities, local regulatory agencies, and private interests. In 2009, the National Park Service (NPS) Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program in collaboration with the NPC submitted a grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to fund a feasibility study and master plan for ROGG through the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program. The grant for this work was funded by the FTA through an interagency agreement with the NPS RTCA which contracted with the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department (MDPROS) to serve as the project manager for the study. In 2012 MDPROS contracted with AECOM Technical Services, Inc. (AECOM) to provide planning, public outreach, documentation and vision development services to assist in the preparation of the Feasibility Study and Master Plan (FSMP) which was completed in 2017. Many more steps are required for further evaluation and study of the project as funding becomes available.
In October 2015 the Friends of the River of Grass (FROGG) re-organized as a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and established its own by-laws with a new Board of Directors representing various counties throughout south Florida. FROGG promotes the establishment, preservation, and safe use by the general public of a non-motorized transportation and recreation corridor across the Everglades between Naples and Miami. FROGG continues to focus on safety and environmental education and stewardship for those hiking, walking, or cycling through south Florida and the Everglades.
The Friends of the River of Grass Greenway is a member of the League of American Bicyclists and an Advocate Member of the Florida Bicycle Association.