NATIONAL TRAILS TRAINING PARTNERSHIP
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Training and education

NATIONAL TRAILS TRAINING PARTNERSHIP MEETING

US Fish & Wildlife Service, Arlington, VA -- June 10, 2005

M I N U T E S

Introductions

Monica Clay, Tread Lightly! and Jim Miller, USDA Forest Service, welcomed the group and chaired the meeting.

Attendees

  • Monica Clay, Tread Lightly!
  • Jim Miller, USDA Forest Service
  • Bill Woodland, USFS National Training and Education Program Manager
  • Steve Elkinton, National Park Service
  • Sam Fontaine, National Park Service
  • Christopher Douwes, FHWA, Recreational Trails and Enhancements Programs
  • Jonathan LeClere, FHWA
  • Nathan Caldwell, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Sean Furniss, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Pam Gluck, American Trails
  • Stuart Macdonald, NTTP and American Trails
  • Celina Montorfano, American Hiking Society
  • Dusty Vaughn, American Hiking Society
  • Heather Deutsch, Rails to Trails Conservancy

1. Marketing Plan for NTTP

Monica and Pam gave updates on all goals and objectives

Overall goals:

1. Generate awareness of NTTP website, increase traffic 20% by June 1. There were 43,000 visits to American Trails over a month previously

  • March, 2005 it increased to 63k
  • April; 69k
  • May; 73k+

2. Increase number of posted links by June.

  • DONE! Increased to 174

3. Increase number of Partnerships

  • Pam got mailing list of contacts of folks affiliated with CRT Advisory Committees

4. Grow outreach list to 300 names

  • Exceeded that 10x over

5. More awareness of NTTP

  • Stuart branded more NTTP pages. Logo at top, link at bottom

Strategies to achieve marketing objectives

  • Increase number of links: currently there are about 1,800 links to American Trails site
  • Identify number of visitors to specific pages, like the NTTP Calendar
  • Increase number of references to NTTP in printed publications
  • Develop a news release describing Partnership
  • Federal partners to distribute news release on NTTP partnership with agencies.
  • Develop standard PR that can be used by all agencies, and tweaked for own needs.
  • Increase visibility of NTTP via printed medium
  • Develop partnership with Colleges and university
  • Increase promotion and visibility at conferences: NSHT conference, SETC mid-July, Mid-America Trails and Greenways end of July, Outdoor retailers end of August in Utah, Cooperative conservation conference (Whitehouse conf.) late August in St. Louis. (Peggy O'dell)

Discussion

Another slogan: " The world's most comprehensive resource for trail training opportunities."

Steve would like BLM to do some sort of 5 year retrospective on NTTP. This would be a great project for a summer intern. BLM was key to NTTPs creation. Can other partners also help promote NTTP again in newsletters, etc.?

Nathan suggests that maybe too much reliance on the web is not good. Trail enthusiasts may be different from the mainstream and not rely upon electronic information as much as the desk bound rest of us. Many may read magazines, especially to clubs of which they are a member. Should we / how could we use old media to promote NTTP:

  • Calendar of upcoming trainings to place in magazines.
  • Electronic intranet: Different photos and links every day on NPS site. Steve will supply a series of short features on NTTP and training topics to their intranet.
  • Other publication opportunities like "Refuge Update" newsletter.

Help needed from NTTP Partners:

  • Partners should tell American Trails office about upcoming conferences, events etc so they can send them brochures or fliers to give out.
  • Print an article about NTTP in their publications/on their website. Make your role with NTTP part of an article. Include MOU signing, but promote your own organization's efforts for training, and celebrate your role with NTTP as a supporter and partner.
  • Include the NTTP logo and slogan in their publications/on their website.

2. Brochure for NTTP

Monica Clay developed a very nice tri-fold color brochure with input from Stuart and Pam.

Decisions:

  • Approved brochure
  • Decided slogan to be "your resource for trail training"
  • Carry 2005 June marketing objectives on through 2005
  • Update marketing goals at least twice a year.

3. Discussion on Training with agency partners

Learned about existing training/curriculum programs/opportunities such as USDA Training School

Trails 101 Management course: 20 people set up for September meeting. At the last course in Golden, CO people were very interested in "where do we go from here?" and in future training for additional skills. Perhaps next meeting have NTTP present/discuss efforts.

Presentations on Distance Learning Consortium

Bill Woodland, USFS National Training and Education Program Manager

Some courses lead to academic degrees. Will be working with professional societies and other organizations. Working with BLM to make them a full partner. EPA and Corps of Engineers also interested in cooperating.

Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning is the world ranked expert on developing courses. Virginia Tech houses IDDL. They can build an online course at a reasonable cost if you provide them materials.. See http://cnr.iddl.vt.edu

Distance learning is very rich, and saves a lot on housing and travel.

Finances. The power of the consortium is that the academic institutions help pay. Right now they are funded by 200,000k year, but designed to be able to reduce funding over 5 years where courses are funded by tuition.

Sam Fontaine, National Park Service

Seventeen different career fields, each with a training manager. Identifying and helping with career training needs. Partnerships with universities and NCTC. Technology Enhanced Learning. Challenges for federal agencies: having enough money to go to training, and being allowed to go to training. Not all courses are suitable for distance learning. Inhouse training website is "My Learning Place." Idea is to be able to go to wherever employees can get the training they need. Cost is $145 to $ 400 (grad level) per credit hour.

Discussion on Training

Avoiding duplications, providing one-stop shopping is a goal.

Future university of trails online. Include courses from all the higher education providers. Recreation Academy is an idea that has been talked about.

What would it take to develop a course: $40-50k for development of internal online course. If you go outside you'll spend over $100k. If you had a small one-week course could be less. Doesn't recommend to turn over training to one University, need Agency experts available. Check with Ann Hill on their costs.

Enrichment of having projects, developing a body of knowledge, contacting experts-- you need to make all these connections.Get agency experts involved as well as the university.

Can capture whole training on video and put it on a cd. Digital based courses can add the customized portion easily.

Funding Resources: American Society of Training and Development, CREES, Healthy Trails Initiative, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

4. Review of Colorado Outdoor Training Initiative Proposal

COTI's program is very extensive. Wouldn't it be great to take this to the National level, States, Federal agency. How can we work together and preserve COTI's identity, since they've done so much to produce the curriculum.

Concern about American Hiking Society already providing crew leader training nationally. Celina noted that AHS incorporates this training in their Volunteer Vacations program. However, have scaled back training since they weren't getting the demand they expected. They still have a crew leader training manual. Stuart pointed out that the COTI program is a way to build new statewide coalitions for training, not just putting on volunteer classes.

Question that NTTP is a clearinghouse, but should it be offering training? Stuart replied that NTTP is taking the clearinghouse idea to the role of facilitating good training, making it more available to people that need it. Not teaching, or providing the training.

Would it make sense to invite COTI to the next Trails Symposium to run a short course to gauge interest? Use NTTP to determine the interest by advertising all available opportunities.

COTI has done survey and outlined needs for entire trail process from concept to completion. So far COTI has developed a course for Trail Crew Leader but will develop more courses for other aspects of trail needs.

Information may need to be sanitized/standardized for national use but most likely 90+% can be reused without changes. Need for training on urban and front-country trails, not just back-country trails. Combination of training and hands-on experience? Just because you completed a course doesn't mean you are qualified to perform the duties in the real world.

Decisions:

  • Approved the phrase "Brought to you by COTI in cooperation with NTTP."
  • This same phrase can be promoted by any other organization as long as they receive approval from the NTTP partners.
  • Official notification of this decision will be sent to all partners.
  • Need to add a disclaimer on the website calendar about the training, we're making available these opportunities but not certifying etc.

5. Element K professional growth classes

Was approved to be promoted and linked to as long as they don't demand exclusivity. NTTP is helping trails and other people connect with a good training opportunity. People could go to Element K through TrailsTraining.n.

6. College level curriculum for non-motorized trails

Stuart had previously sent draft proposal for the curriculum idea to NTTP partners. He had also discussed the idea with Dr. Raymond Busbee, who developed three OHV management courses designed for distance learning through Marshall University in WV. He also talked to Dr. Richard Begley, director of Rayhall Transportation Institute, which funded OHV courses. They are interested in providing resources for wider trails course, but want it to be offered through Marshall.

  • NTTP will bring the people together to collaborate on a curriculum
  • Analysis will continue to be done regarding existing courses and curriculums
  • An academic advisory committee will be formed
  • Seek funding
  • Continue discussion with Rayhall Transportation Institute and other potential funders and sponsors

7. Accessibility Workshop

American Trails will offer an workshop on accessibility to groups that will host the workshop and help provide funding. Initial day long course will be provided for State Trails Administrators national meeting in September, 2005. Believe that funding from a foundation or corporation may be available to help with education on this important topic. States can use Recreational Trails Program funds for training.

Agreement to try it out as a pilot course, do an assessment to learn from it. Then be ready to teach variations of the class when ADA regulations are finally passed.

Next Meeting

Scheduled next NTTP meeting as a conference call on October 6, 2005 from 1:30-4:00. Anyone from the Washington, DC area can meet at the Rails to Trails office. Out of town people will call in.

Meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

Meeting record submitted by Stuart Macdonald incorporating notes from Jonathan LeClere and Monica Clay.

Photo of class

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