A substantial framework of greenways, mostly privately owned, already exists throughout the region. These are represented by the landholdings of utility and transportation agencies. Northwest Indiana is criss-crossed by active and abandoned rail lines, interstate highways, bike trails, Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) corridors, and pipelines. These corridors represent hundreds of miles of functioning greenways. NIPSCO has been particularly effective in working with local governments, environmental groups, and farmers to manage their linear landholdings for greenway and open space purposes. The expanding non-motorized trail system of Northwest Indiana brings multiple greenway benefits to many neighborhoods and communities. Railroads have retained prairie remnants in their corridors and are migration corridors for animals. Drainage boards do not allow development within the width of the easements of their legal drains. Interstate highways offer the potential for major landscaping initiatives to enhance the character of the region for the many interstate travelers who pass through.
Linear corridor owners usually have a primary purpose in owning their corridor, but because the corridor is usually wider than the road or trail or utility line that utilizes it, multiple greenway benefits are already in place.