Trail Advocacy

This award is given in recognition of successful efforts to influence public policy relating to trail planning, trail protection, trail development, or maintenance.


Kansas: Cecilia Harry

Cecilia has been the key person revitalizing interest in urban, suburban and unpaved trails throughout Leavenworth County, Kansas. Although there have been earlier initiatives. They have failed to sustain community involvement and support.

In recent decades, Leavenworth County has been significantly behind other nearby counties in the Kansas City Metro area, with regards to trail development and a comprehensive master plan at the county level.

Cecilia has stepped forward to address these gaps and help create a Leavenworth County that will be the ‘go to’ place for residents and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Cecilia drove the formation of a Leavenworth County Trails Committee that includes trail enthusiasts from most major user categories, as well as city and county leaders.

With Cecilia’s leadership and support, the larger team has been active in promoting trails within the county by:

  • Distributing flyers and information to county residents
  • Promoting trails at the county fair and at community events
  • Promoting trail development and planning to elected officials at city and county level
  • Providing support and assistance to community leaders as they drive local trail initiatives
  • “Turning out the numbers” by rallying the troops to attend city/county meetings where trail-related matters are being discussed
  • Sharing information, seeking support, and driving alignment with the greater Kansas City by working hand-in-hand with Mid America Regional Council (MARC)

As the work of the Trails Committee grew and became more focused, Cecilia also drove the formation of a Trails Sub-Committee to:

  • Catalog and inventory the existing network of trails throughout the county
  • Collect mapping data from each major community within the county
  • Help drive alignment to common mapping standards throughout the county, so a single, county-wide map could be developed, printed, shared online with residents, city leaders, and visitors

Cecilia is an active outdoor enthusiast herself, including being a fitness runner. Without her drive and dedication, the successes that area communities have recently had would have been far more difficult to achieve:

  • Tonganoxie’s recent expansion of the Chieftain Trail
  • Lansing’s ongoing development of trails within the community and at Kenneth Bernard Park
  • Leavenworth’s recent expansion of trail and bridge along 5 Mile Creek
  • Fort Leavenworth’s expansion of hiking, biking and equestrian trails

504 views • posted 01/16/2018