filed under: economics of trails

How Two Communities are Creating and Attracting Residents to Unique Trail Experiences

This session provides two case studies of how communities are creating and attracting residents to unique experiences on their trail systems.

by Ron L. Taylor, Principal, Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group, Travis Glazier, Director, Onondaga County Office of Environment, Andre Denman, Principal Park Planner and Greenways Manager, Indy Parks/Department of Public Works

Syracuse and its suburbs were once the center of the chemical-producing world. After nearly 30 years of debate and 20 years of hard work at a cost of $1.2 billion, Onondaga Lake and its tributaries are on the road to recovery from the industrial heritage/legacy and the county is working to connect the community through recreational trails and improve access to revitalized lands and waterfront on Onondaga Lake.

In Indianapolis, where over 3 million people already use the popular Indy Greenways each year, the city has created the Greenways Partnership to provide programming to attract underserved populations to their trails.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding how to establish lines of communication with stakeholders and why that communication is valuable.
  • How to work with private partners to achieve gains in access.
  • Understand how to establish a narrative around trails that recognizes them as a vital part of a healthy community instead of a luxury for affluent neighborhoods.

About the Authors

Ron L. Taylor, FASLA, RLA is a registered landscape architect and Principal at Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group in Indianapolis and the founder of the Greenways Partnership. He has managed the development of many significant urban greenway projects including the Ohio River Greenway and the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge in southern Indiana. His trail planning work includes the 100-mile Louisville Loop and most recently was the author of Indianapolis' Full Circle Master Plan, the City's new vision of over 250 miles of greenways. In 2014, Ron was selected as one of ten Fellows in Indy's Plan 2020 CityCorps program. His work under this fellowship examined "Program Development to Broaden Engagement with Indy Greenways." Ron is a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), a past Trustee for ASLA in Washington, DC and former President of the Indiana ASLA Chapter. Ron currently chairs Indianapolis' Greenways Development Committee.

Travis Glazier was appointed by the County Executive to serve as Director of the Office of Environment for Onondaga County in March of 2015. In this role, Glazier is responsible for County policy matters related to environmental protection, rehabilitation, and preservation. In addition, the Director acts as the liaison between the county, state and federal governments, as well as private interests, in environmental matters on behalf of the County Executive. The office of Environment is a Chartered Department whereby the Director is also responsible ensuring federal and state directives are followed by the County.

Glazier started his career with Onondaga County in 2010 working for the department of Water Environment Protection. In 2011 he was appointed by the County Executive to serve as the Director of Intergovernmental Relations and in 2014 appointed to the position of Deputy Commissioner of Facilities Management.

Prior to serving on the County Executive’s senior staff, Glazier founded a small internet company,, where he was CEO from 2005-2010. The company specialized in website software for political organizations, non-profits and advocacy groups.

From 2002-2005, Glazier served on the District Staff of Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (NY24) where he worked on issues related to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, veterans, Department of Defense and Housing and Urban Development.

Glazier is a lifelong resident of upstate New York and holds a BA in politics with a minor in Environmental Studies from SUNY Potsdam and an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He is a member of the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency Board and a former member of the Onondaga Citizens League Board. He and his wife Christa reside in Liverpool with their sons Gabriel and Sebastian

Andre T. Denman is the Principal Park Planner and Greenways Manager at Indy Parks/Department of Public Works where he oversees all planning, design, and construction of greenways. Andre was the City’s project manager on the Indy Greenways Full Circle Master Plan and is currently overseeing the early stages of its implementation. Andre is a graduate of Ball State University’s Landscape Architecture Program and has 25 years of experience in private and public sectors in community and neighborhood planning, landscape architecture and park, trail, and greenway planning. He has spent the last 12 years at Indy Parks.

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