The Great Allegheny Passage Trail Towns

Rural Sustainable Economic Development

Speakers will elaborate on the successes and hurdles in the cultural shift to an economy based upon conservation and utilization of natural assets in rural towns.

by Amy Camp, Owner, Cycle Forward, Elisa Mayes, Brad Smith, Proprieter, Confluence Cyclery

The Trail Town Program works to link trails into municipal infrastructure, assist small businesses, and engage the communities in Eco-tourism as a model to drive economic development. The session will cover the history of the Trail Town Program, the Great Allegheny Passage, and the Potomac Heritage Trail. It will discuss the partnership with the national non-profit, the Student Conservation Association (SCA), and the utilization of the energy of the SCA Trail Town Outreach Corps. The speakers will elaborate on the successes and hurdles in the cultural shift to an economy based upon conservation and utilization of natural assets in rural towns.

About the Authors

Amy Camp, owner of Cycle Forward, is a trails and tourism consultant, a placemaker, and a professional coach. She helped launch the nationally-recognized Trail Town Program® in 2007, and now consults communities on how they can expand the way they approach trails and tourism. A list of consulting projects is available. Amy is also a certified professional coach who offers nature-Cycle Forward logo based coaching, helping clients to gain clarity around their careers. Many of her coaching clients are in the trails, tourism, and community development fields. Amy is on the Board of American Trails, serving as Board Secretary and Chair of the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program.

Contact: [email protected]

Elisa Mayes leads the 4-person SCA Trail Town Outreach Corps in sustainable community development projects in the Pennsylvania towns along the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science from UNC-Chapel Hill and her M.Sc. in Urban Planning from the University of Groningen, Netherlands. Her desire to do community planning stems from her passion for the diversity of cultures and her previous work with the Adirondack Nature Conservancy and bicycle advocacy in Asheville, North Carolina.

Brad Smith worked for the Department of Defense in Washington, DC before retiring to Confluence, PA. In 2008 Brad and his wife, Maureen, opened the Confluence Cyclery in the town’s former department store building.

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