Greenways and Trails Forum for Orlando Area Development Professionals
Over 80 developers, landowners, agencies, resort operators, non-profits groups, and conservationists came together to create a vision of a greenways and trails network for Central Florida.
From the Office of Greenways & Trails
The Forum Mission
The First Step
Assemble a “roundtable” of key decision makers representing developers, builders, landowners, public agencies, resort operators, consulting firms, non-profit organizations, user groups and conservationists from in and around Central Florida to inform, update and identify strategies. Hold a day-long kick-off event.
On November 3, 2005, more than 80 people representing key stakeholder groups came together at the first Greenways and Trails Forum for Orlando Area Development Professionals (list of participants is attached at the end of this report). Local and national experts facilitated the Forum which provided an opportunity for interactive discussion and information sharing about:
The Forum opened with a series of presentations addressing various aspects of greenways and trails related to developments. All of the PowerPoint presentations from the Forum are available on the Office of Greenways and Trails website.
The Morning Sessions: Background and Context
Session 1: Welcome and Introduction
Jim Wood, Assistant Director, Office of Greenways and Trails, welcomed the participants and outlined the objectives of the forum: "Coordinating the planning efforts of the private sector with public
Jeff Olson, Alta Planning and Design, Saratoga Springs, NY, provided an overview of current and emerging national trends in greenways and trails and why they are vital to shaping a better future for our communities.
Robert Searns, The Greenway Team, Denver, CO, presented an overview of successful trail and greenway planning, design and development techniques.
Bill Neumann, ASLA, The Greenway Team, Denver, CO, provided graphic and design
Session 2: State of the Art of Greenways and Trails in Development Planning
Erik Larsen, Palmer Design Company, Beat Kahli, Avalon Park and Joe Parinella, Universal City Property Management, described the integration of greenways and trails into successful private-sector development projects.
Session 3: Greenways and Trails—the Central Florida Context
Linda Chapin, Director, Metropolitan Center for Regional Studies, University of Central Florida, presented an overview of a comprehensive visioning study commissioned by the University with the assistance of national research experts from the University of Pennsylvania. The study compared the outcomes of alternative planning approaches for the next 50 years in Central Florida. The proposed “sustainable planning” scenario that includes a substantial greenway conservation network, showed a $66 billion savings. “As citizens, we have the responsibility to make choices about our future and press our elected representatives to honor our wishes in planning and investing in the future... if we decline to get involved... we still have made a choice: to do nothing.”
Harris Rosen, Rosen Hotels and Resorts spoke about the rich natural, cultural and historic heritage of Central Florida and the importance of preserving this legacy for current and future generations. He described his vision and plan for a greenway corridor along Shingle Creek from its headwaters in Orlando to the Florida Everglades.
The Afternoon Sessions: Visioning, Priorities, Strategies, and Implementation
Facilitated by Robert Searns and Jeff Olson, these free-form brainstorming sessions consisted of discussion directed toward developing guiding principles, identifying opportunities and constraints, and establishing next steps for the group. The group was asked to imagine the “big picture” future for Central Florida, and what it will be in 5 to 10 years with respect to trails and natural resources. How will we bring people, trails and green spaces together?
Task One: Visioning and Guiding Principles
Participants suggested aspects of the trail and greenway vision including:
The participants suggested the following guiding principles:
Task Two: Identify Constraints and Challenges
Task Three: Suggest Catalytic Projects
The group suggested the following “catalytic projects” as important starting points in creating a world class Central Florida trail and greenway network:
1. Shingle Creek
Task Four: List of Recommended Actions
The participants listed the following recommended actions toward achieving the vision:
The Forum was Adjourned.
“Big potential exists in Florida for accomplishing innovative tasks…this state is unusually fluid in its attitudes and people respond when genuine education takes place. An aspect of fun attaches to living in Florida. That's what impels people to move here because they first came on vacation. This untapped willingness to learn about the place can drive trail development as much as it does conservation, historic preservation and additional positions of traditional virtue.”
--Herb Hiller, Writer and Forum Participant
Follow-Up and Next Steps
After the group developed the list of possible recommended actions (Task 4 above), the group then developed a list of specific action steps that would serve as the next steps to carry forward the momentum from the Forum:
1. Create web page highlighting the effort to integrate greenways and trails as part of development planning in Central Florida.
2. Distribute this Summary Report and invite commentary and suggestions.
3. Form Regional Task Force to formulate implementation strategy based upon review of
4. Identify ways to initiate implementation of the “catalytic” projects.
5. Hold strategic conference call with key advocates, agency officials, developers,
6. Schedule the next forum.
The Forum was planned and presented by: Office of Greenways and Trails Florida Department of Environmental Protection In coordination with the following:
The Forum was also an American Trails project. For information about having a similar forum in your community, please contact American Trails at (530) 547-2060 or read more at www.AmericanTrails.org.
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