Building Communities in Support of Sustainable, Natural Surface, Multi-Use Public Trails

Common grassroots methodologies for building community support for trails.

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Event Details

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June 09, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:00 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
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Webinar Outline

Have you ever wondered “Why” people want to share their experiences, volunteer, or donate their time, money, and energy to trails? This presentation is about building communities in support of sustainable, natural surface, multi-use, public trails.

While most would say it takes funding and sometimes major funding to build and maintain trails, I would ask us to consider trail funding as a continuum. Trails are about experiences and we strive to share those experience with others. Fun is contagious, we want others to enjoy and create memories or achievements like we’ve enjoyed. This is the first component of this webinar. Sharing can be welcoming and inclusive, because we want others to enjoy or make their own memories. Expanding our network or user communities will hopefully lead to additional volunteers and trail stewards.

The webinar will also touch on what the presenter calls the 4 guidelines for trail building.

  • First, we can only build or maintain what the land manager approves. Again, we don’t own the land or dictate uses for the land and we need to respect land managers decisions.
  • Second, we can only build or maintain what the land will give us. Natural resources will generally determine your options for trails.
  • Third, build what you can recruit volunteers to build or maintain. This is a key component of land management. Land managers appreciate maintenance plans and proven ability to maintain trails after the newness wears off. Organization and volunteer recruitment are vital.
  • Fourth, integrated into all the above is the ability to obtain approval, use what the land will give you and augment volunteer build/maintenance with professional services. We know there are some rocks we can’t move or features which require engineering we may have to pay a professional to do. So the fourth general guideline is build/maintain with a professional what you can fundraise to pay for.

Learning Objectives:

  • Ideas on how to build community engagement
  • Learn about general trail building rules
  • Understand the 4 guidelines for trail building

Questions & Answers


Webinar Partners


Ernest Rodriguez, President, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts (MORE)

  • Retired
  • Government service - 1973 - 2010
  • Government consulting - 2010-2018
  • Advocacy Director for MORE - 2013
  • President of MORE - 2014 - present
  • MORE board member - 2013 - present
  • Potomac Heritage Trails Alliance - 2015 - present
  • IMBA board member - 2017 - present
  • Experience working with land managers, volunteers, fundraising and community development.


Closed Captioning

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Learning Credits and CEUs

American Trails is proud to be a certified provider of the following learning credits and continuing education opportunities:

  • American Institute of Certified Planners Continuing Maintenance (AICP CM)
  • Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES PDH) (most HSW approved)
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) CEU equivalency petition
  • CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations

Learning credits are free for attendees for American Trails webinars and the International Trails Symposium, as well as for other conferences, webinars, and workshops we offer credits for. Learn more here.


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2,585 views • posted 06/03/2022