Parks Paradigm Shift

The mountain bike trail that changed an agency

Best practices for either establishing a new bike optimized off-road trail system or better managing your current network.

by Nancy Desmond, Director of Special Projects, Cleveland Metroparks, Andy Williamson, Principal, Active Strategies

Cleveland Metroparks recently built nearly 10 miles of single-track mountain bike trail, successfully navigating the tricky politics of strong support and strong opposition, both internally and externally. This bold move provided much-needed trail access for the region while changing the internal culture of the agency. Attendees will hear firsthand how the process went, what worked and what didn’t, and best practices for either establishing a new bike optimized off-road trail system or better managing your current network.

View IMBA Presentation Online

View Cleveland Metroparks Presentation Online

About the Authors

Nancy Desmond is a Certified Parks & Recreation Professional and has been in the field for 15
years. Nancy is currently the Director of Special Projects at Cleveland Metroparks. Her work includes a trails public outreach program to raise money, recruit volunteers, and educate users 5 about sustainable trail care. She works closely with bicycle advocacy groups, including the International Mountain Biking Association, along with hiking, running, and equestrian trail users.
Nancy is an avid mountain biker, and trail runner.

Andy Williamson has based his career on seizing opportunities to share his passion and commitment to conservation and outdoor recreation to better the communities he lives and works in. From an early stint leading a Boy Scout camp to his recent role as IMBA’s Director of Programs, he has lived that commitment. In between, Andy helped lead a dedicated team of outdoor recreation enthusiasts to transform Dayton, OH into an active vibrant outdoor community. While there, he was an influential leader in the mountain bike community and a key organizer in Dayton’s bike-friendly movement. He co-founded the Miami Valley Cycling Summit and helped resurrect a Bike Miami Valley advocacy group. Andy also helped develop the strategic and operational plans for several annual large-scale outdoor events including The Adventure Summit and Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience. In his role as IMBA’s Great Lakes Region Director, Andy touched the lives of thousands of mountain bikers and has engendered the development of hundreds of miles of trail, new bike parks and mountain bike initiatives throughout the middle of the U.S. Andy holds a Bachelors of Science in Resource and Recreation and Tourism with a minor in Adventure Leadership from the University of Idaho and an Associate of Science in Eco-Tourism and Adventure Travel from Hocking College in Southeastern, Ohio.

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