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American Trails

CONCURRENT SESSIONS: Friday, Oct. 22
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE! ~ see speaker bios

ARTFUL WAYS — WORKING WITH ARTISTS (Room: 5-A&B)

The presentation will survey the use and benefits of using art to develop, interpret and celebrate trails. Six case studies drawn from National Park Service community projects will highlight the role of artists (including poets, sculptors, puppeteers, folksingers and others) in building and celebrating trails. An artist will share his perspective on working with a trail organization and three local communities to establish the Northern Forest Canoe Trail in Vermont. A public art administrator will offer practical steps on working with artists (funding, artist selection, contracting). Finally, we will introduce a new grants program for art on National Recreation Trails.

Moderator: Charles L. Tracy, Director, Art & Community Landscapes, National Park Service

Speakers: Evan Haynes, Sculptor, Northern Forest Artist Residency; Liesel Fenner, Manager - Artistic Creation & Distribution, New England Foundation for the Arts

THE PHYSICAL IMPACTS OF TRAILS ON THE ENVIRONMENT (Room: 6-A)

This session will explore the impacts of trails (natural surface) on land, wildlife, water, and ecological functions. What is the current research on trail impacts? What are research needs? How can we design trails to minimize the impacts on their local ecosystems? What impacts are unavoidable? How can we satisfy our users while minimizing resource degradation.

Speakers: Scott Linnenburger, IMBA Trail Solutions coordinator, International Mountain Bicycling Association; Aaryn Kay, Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew coordinator, International Mountain Bicycling Association

KIDS CAN'T RESIST BIKES (Room: 6-B)

As the face of the nation becomes more diverse, trail providers must adjust their planning and programming to engage new participants. Houston area bicycle enthusiasts have developed some creative programs to introduce their favorite sport and means of transportation to youth of color. Presenters will outline the steps to develop a mountain bike riding and safety clinic; describe successful elements of an Earn-a-Bike program for low-income neighborhood youth; and give examples of involving youth activities in trail planning projects. Learn how to tap resources to develop similar programs and how to improve your outreach techniques to diverse populations.

Moderator: Kathryn Nichols, National Park Service

Speakers: Christina Case, Senior Systems Integrity Engineer, Enbridge Energy Transportation South; Benjamin Mason, Director, Third Ward Community Bike Center

FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION FUNDS BENEFIT RECREATION (Room: 7)

This session will present Federal surface transportation programs that can provide funding for trails, focusing on the Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Enhancement Activities.

Speakers: Christopher Douwes, Trails and Enhancements Program Manager, Federal Highway Administration; Shannon Dumolt, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

BUILDING TRAILS TO HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES (Room: 8-A&B)

Trails are the key to improved health. Trail users and trail managers know it, but how can they measure it, and how can they prove it? Hear how a number of communities across the country are discovering unique and innovative ways to promote trails for their health benefit, and learn how they are finding ways to measure just how much the health and vitality of individuals and communities is improved when people start using trails for health.

Moderator: Stuart Macdonald, Chair, National Association of State Trail Administrators

Speakers: Richard Dolesh, Senior Policy Associate, National Recreation and Park Association; Becky Lowry, RN, BSN, Vice-President of Corporate Planning and Development, Logansport Memorial Hospital; Ken Rosenfeld, Director of National Advocacy, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

A NEW ERA OF TRAILS? TRENDS AND ISSUES SHAPING THE FUTURE (Room: 8-C)

The purpose of this session is to review the external forces in our society that are shaping trails themselves along with the public's perception and use of trails. It will contain, not necessarily predictions, but some intriguing possibilities for the trails of the future. Its learning objectives are: to use a general framework and approach for anticipating change, to identify the forces shaping change for our nation's trails, and to discuss alternative outcomes or scenarios for trails in the long-term future.

Speaker: Dr. Peter Bishop, Associate Professor and Chair, Studies of the Future, University of Houston-Clear Lake

MECHANISMS FOR ASSESSING, PLANNING, MANAGING, AND DESIGNING MULTI-USE TRAILS (Room: 9-A)

This presentation will describe methodologies for determining levels of use and for understanding perceptual experiences occurring on trails including data collection in the field and processing of data. Applications for use of these data will also be discussed. The purpose of the presentation is to help practitioners and researchers determine levels of use and trail user experiences on multi-user trails. The presentation also aims to provide tools to better promote, design and manage trails.

Speakers: Stephen A. Wolter and John M. Drew, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University; Jamie Rae Walker and C. Scott Shafer, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University

USING CIVIC ENVIRONMENTALISM TO RESOLVE TRAILS CONFLICTS (Room: 9-B)

Conflicts are inevitable. Perhaps while building a new trail or securing a rail-trail or re-designing an existing trail or even simply trying to manage long-established trails somebody -- a neighbor, a landowner, or different user groups -- are going to clash. The principles of civic environmentalism, as exemplified in Austin's new trails and greenways or Philadelphia's century-old trails, offer fresh and effective ways to get past conflict. Participants will come away with a useful toolkit to turn adversaries into allies.

Speakers: Tom Pelikan, Executive Director, Friends of the Wissahickon; David Pope, Board Member, Friends of the Wissahickon; Jeb Boyt, Austin Metro Trails & Greenways

MAKING THE CONNECTION, PROVIDING SAFE TRAIL/ROADWAY CROSSINGS IN URBAN AREAS (Room: 10-A)

As many trail planners, advocates, and citizens are aware, leaving a protected trail environment to cross the road can be a daunting prospect. Many multi-use trails lead to a challenging roadway crossing characterized by a range of factors including multiple lanes, long crossings, high traffic volumes, high traffic speeds, and long wait times between pedestrian crossing intervals. There are a variety of solutions, depending on local circumstances, including: undercrossings, overcrossings, and street level design solutions. This presentation focuses on the strategies used to identify locations and funding for pedestrian undercrossings, and on several examples of surface level design modifications to multi-use trail and roadway intersections.

Moderator: Ian Moore, Senior Associate, Alta Planning + Design

Speakers: Anne Noble, P.E., Greenways Coordinator, City of Boulder, Colorado; Scott Belonger, P.E., Project Manager and Engineer, Loris and Associates

BRIGHTER MINDS, RICHER ENVIRONMENTS (Room: 10-B)

The myriad natural and cultural opportunities inherent in trails and greenways call for leaders trained in comprehensive thinking as well as innovative design approaches. James Richards will open the session with an overview of a popular college course aimed at preparing future leaders in the conceiving and implementation of multi-objective stream greenways. In the second half, Roy B. Mann will discuss the importance of interpreting trail-side heritage elements, whether within national and State heritage areas and corridors or within other terrain, followed by an analysis of the suitability of available signage and illustrations of heritage-interpretive sign prototypes compatible with the landscape and its legacy.

Moderator: Robert Searns, AICP, President, Urban Edges, Inc.

Speakers: James Richards, ASLA, Principal, TOWNSCAPE, Inc.; Roy Mann, The Rivers Studio LLC

Return to the Concurrent Sessions schedule ~ see speaker bios

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE!