Young Adults and Professional Partnering for 21st Century Trails

A PTBA Technical Track Presentation

Engaging youth and veterans in trail projects.

by Willie Bittner, Owner, Great Lakes Trailbuilders, LLC, Lauren Edwards-Johnson, Programs Coordinator, The Corps Network, Brenna Kelly, Conservation Legacy

This PTBA Techical Track session explores how the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21SCS) and professional trail builders have partnered together to engage the next generation of youth and veterans in high priority trail projects across the U.S.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to work with Conservation Corps.
  • Why hybrid projects are successful.
  • Benefits of working with professional trail builders.
  • Effective use and leveraging of funding to support trails through public/private partnerships.

About the Authors

Willie Bittner has been working in the conservation field, specifically in trailbuilding, design and consulting for 20 years. His experiences include owning and operating his own trailbuilding, design and consulting business - Great Lakes Trailbuilders LLC, working with the DNR and multiple conservation corps, as well as co-founding and operating WisCorps, a conservation corps out of Wisconsin since 2009. His experience has allowed him to work with a variety of entities, and he has emphasized working on hybrid projects for his entire career. Willie has built trails both locally and nationally, as well as provided consulting internationally.

As a Programs Coordinator, Lauren facilitates TCN’s federal land grants and agreement and various other public-private partnerships. Prior to joining TCN, Lauren completed an AmeriCorps service term with the Montana Conservation Corps as a Northern Rockies region field crewmember. She served in wilderness areas and public lands in Montana and Idaho on backcountry trail construction, conservation, and historical preservation projects. Lauren is also a Sierra Club Potomac Region Outings leader and volunteers her time by organizing outdoor recreational activities for the general public in the Washington, DC metro area.


Brenna Kelly (no bio available)

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