A wide variety of training is available during 2009 for volunteers and professionals working to develop trails of all kinds. American Trails and the National Trails Training Partnership are working with agencies and organizations across America to promote trail-related training. See dozens of offerings for 2009 on the online calendar of training events.
Join the movement for better skills and better trails!
Training available this year covers the full range of trail activities, and all types of trails from primitive backcountry routes to urban greenways. Training formats include one-day workshops to week-long trail schools, and from basic introductions to trail work to specialized technical skills. A random sample of training topics would include Geographic Positioning Systems, Trail Adoption, Grant Writing, Advocacy, Volunteer Management, Noxious Weed Control, Land Acquisition, and Trail Design for general and specific uses including equestrians, snowmobiles, mountain bikes, and designated Wilderness.
Shannon Region of Ireland promotes a world-class trails system
The Shannon Region Trails Programme is a Shannon Development-led initiative which aims to establish the Region as a world-class destination for walking, cycling, water-based, and other outdoor activity pursuits during the period 2007-10. This will be achieved by developing, upgrading, and branding a fully integrated network of trails to the highest international standards. Read more…
See the Online Trails Training Calendar
Some courses are sponsored by ongoing training programs and are held several times during the year and in different parts of the country. The following examples are only a selection of what is available. See details and links to training providers on the Online Training Calendar :
Trail Management: Plans, Projects and People (March 30 - April 3, 200) is a week-long interagency course sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management, USDA Forest Service, and Federal Highway Administration. The Trail Management Process includes planning, design layout, construction, maintenance, monitoring, crew leadership, interpretation, operations, and safety with both classroom and field exercises.
IMBA Trailbuilding Schools are sponsored by Subaru of America and directed by the International Mountain Bicycling Association to help bike clubs, land managers, and other trail groups to build and improve trails, solve trail management challenges, and teach the art of sustainable trailbuilding with interactive learning and hands-on trailwork.
Off- Highway Vehicle recreation is covered at several state workshops and national conferences by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) and local groups. Marshall University offers online courses on several aspects of off-highway vehile recreation planning, facilities, and management.
Trail Skills for Volunteers are taught by national, state, and regional groups such as the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, American Hiking Society, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, and the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Tread Lightly! Train-the-Trainer Workshops and other courses in outdoor ethics, wilderness management, and "Leave no Trace" camping are available from a variety of organizations.
The largest trails conference this year will be the 2009 Trailbuilders Conference March 15-20 in Asheville, NC. Ssupported by the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program, 40 informative sessions will be taught by experts in trail construction, maintenance, planning, and design. The Trailbuilders Trade Show includes both indoor booths and an outdoor area where you can try out equipment in real soil.
Host your own training programs
You can also bring in a program or a trainer to your own location. Workshops offered by American Trails cover several topics:
- Understanding Accessibility and Building Better Trails
- Universal Trail Assessment Process with Beneficial Designs, Inc.
- Trail Crew Leadership Training with the Outdoor Stewardship Institute
- Creating a State Trails Training Program Workshop
- Greenways and Trails Forum for Development Professionals
See the full list of Featured Training Providers for more organizations that can provide training tailored to your needs for a fee. We also maintain a roster of experts who provide training in trail design and construction.
Try a "Webinar"
More people are using the "webinar" format. It's a web-based seminar that you access online from your own computer. Attending a webinar is like meeting in a virtual conference room on the web. You register in advance, receive sign-in information, and join the event. There is a presenter with visuals that you listen to over a phone line or your computer speakers, and a way to ask questions.
To try out a webinar, The Greenway Collaborative, Inc. is offering several one-hour sessions on trail and transportation issues during the year
Funding for trail training
States may use Recreational Trails Program funds for a variety of trail-related training, education, and trail assessments for improving accessibility. See the article Funding Trails Training with State Resources for more details.
We'd like to publicize your training opportunities
To promote the training opportunities your organization or agency provides, send information to NTTP@AmericanTrails.org. Courses and events will be posted on the continuously updated Online Training Calendar.
The Trails Training Calendar is hosted by another great resource for trails advocates, AmericanTrails.org, which provides hundreds of articles, studies, and resources on the full spectrum of trails and greenways.
Your link to training: the National Trails Training Partnership
The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trails advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. The vision of the Partnership is "to ensure that the full range of skills, training, and resource information is available to trail groups, communities, tribal governments, and State and Federal agencies."
American Trails is the lead organization for developing NTTP, with funding from the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program, and support from many other groups. You're invited to join us at the next NTTP Partners Meeting March 19-20 at the 2009 Trailbuilders Conference. Visit the National Trails Training Partnership online at TrailsTraining.net.
Do you need training? Do you have training opportunities you'd like to publicize? Are you a trails expert who can teach trail skills to others? The National Trails Training Partnership wants to work with you to make training more available.
Resources for building trails and greenways: design guidelines, construction techniques, materials, trail paving and surfacing, and trailhead facilities.