Collective Impact: Building a Trail Collective

This webinar will include presenters from both a newly formed trails collective to a collective that has been around for a few years, providing lessons learned and valuable insights for other communities that are encouraged to do the same.

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Event Details

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August 25, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM (Mountain Time)
12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (Central Time)
01:00 PM to 02:30 PM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost: FREE


Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
Learning Credits
are available for this webinar.


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Webinar Outline

This webinar will include presenters from both a newly formed trails collective to a collective that has been around for a few years, providing lessons learned and valuable insights for other communities that are encouraged to do the same.

The Flathead Trails Association (FTA) is an evolving trails collective that is in the process of formalizing and creating programs that will connect the public to its trail partner organizations. In a landscape with high visitation and spiking population growth, the trails in the Flathead Valley of Montana are becoming more crowded with a variety of users. Our land management agencies are eager for well-trained volunteers to alleviate some of the burden of trail maintenance, and the local trail organizations want to help with trail etiquette and education. FTA will launch this fall, with a goal to help its trail partners connect with new volunteers, provide trail stewardship training, and celebrate the variety of year-round trails opportunities that can be found here in northwest Montana.

The G5 Trail Collective is a 501(c)3 nonprofit initiative powered by Camp Grier in partnership with the USFS, local communities, and recreational trail user groups. G5 stands for the Grandfather District and the 5 counties it covers - McDowell, Burke, Caldwell, Avery, and Watauga. The G5 Collective was conceived in the town of Old Fort as a solution to the lack of funding for trail maintenance and trail development projects in the Grandfather District. The working group recognized that the district is a tremendous asset and could be a driving force to help build healthy and economically vibrant rural communities. In 2019, G5 launched a pilot trail project in Old Fort, raised more than $200,000 for planning design, and permitting and watched the concept grow into a proposed 42-mile trail expansion on USFS lands surrounding the town. The first six miles of trail and a 105 space parking area are open as of 6/26/2022.​ Today, the G5 Collective and its partners Eagle Market Street Development Corporation (EMSDC), People on the Move Old Fort, the USFS, and UNC-CH have raised over $1 million to fund Phase I of trail and parking lot development. Concurrently, EMSDC has purchased two commercial real estate buildings in downtown Old Fort to serve as a business incubation hub, retail, and light manufacturing space for local entrepreneurs and businesses. This will further the goal of developing outdoor recreation resources alongside commercial and residential spaces to build a healthier and more resilient community in Old Fort.

Presenters will provide the following perspectives:

  • Allie Mahoney: Provide insight on the formation of a trails collective and explain one way that a trails collective is structuring their priorities for a public unveiling.
  • Stephanie Swepson Twitty: Will present her vision for integrating rural economic development with outdoor recreation
  • Lavita Logan: Will share her experience as a community organizer, and how she continues to engage the local community (specifically the Black community) in Old Fort
  • Lisa Jennings: Will illuminate the essential components of a successful public - private partnership to build new trails on USFS lands
  • Jason McDougald: Will share how outdoor recreation development is critical to the overall health and wellness of a rural community

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn insights on the formation of a trails collective.
  • Learn one way that a trails collective is structuring their priorities for a public unveiling.
  • Discover ways to engage the local community, keeping JEDI in mind.
  • Acquire essential components of a successful public - private partnership.
  • Discover how outdoor recreation development is critical to the overall health and wellness of a rural community.


This webinar qualifies as a Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) course (via LA CES).

Webinar Resources

G5 Trail Collective Videos


Webinar Partners


Allie Maloney, Trails Coordinator, Flathead Trails Association
Whitefish, Montana

Allie grew up on the shores of Puget Sound, digging clams, chasing crabs, and making wild huckleberry pancakes. She started her career in outdoor education at age sixteen, as a summer camp counselor in beautiful western Washington. In 2018, she finished her Master's degree at SUNY Cortland in Recreation Management. Her career has included guiding month-long wilderness expeditions, leading volunteer trail crews in four states, working as a community organizer for a conservation non-profit, and teaching wilderness first aid. She recently published the Northwest Montana Field Journal, an interactive guide to deepening a sense of place.


Stephanie Swepson Twitty, President and CEO, Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation
Asheville, North Carolina

Stephanie Swepson Twitty is President and CEO of Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation, CED (EMSDC). She is a 20 year veteran in the Not for Profit Industry (NPO). She is an economic development specialist, focusing on small business development and asset building and wealth creation.

Stephanie manages EMSDC’s day to day operations and co-manages their subsidiary holdings, Eagle Market Place Residential, LLC, (a 62-unit mixed income housing unit); Eagle Market Place Commercial, LLC, (9,000 sq. ft. of commercial lease space); Incubation Program, 70 South Market St; and Block-by-Block Industries, a commercial, production cut and sew operation. EMSDC is located in downtown Asheville, NC, the "oldest thriving African American Commercial Business District in the country”.

Stephanie is proficient in fundraising, grant-writing, nonprofit board governance and management. She received her BSM core studies at Montreat School of Adult and Graduate Studies, has a certificate of completion from the National Development Council in Economic Development Finance, and is proficient in fiscal management and accounting.


Lavita Logan, Project Coordinator for People On the Move Old Fort, West Marion Inc.
Old Fort, North Carolina

Lavita Maxine Logan was born and raised in Old Fort North Carolina. Lavita worked 31 years in manufacturing until 2019. While she is continually active in her church, which is her first love, her second love is her community which she has been a part of all of her life and active for four years. She is one of the founding members of the Old Fort Community Forum (OFCF) which was established in 2018. People on the Move for Old Fort (POTMOF) is one of the working groups that come from the OFCF. Lavita started out as the Project Consultant for POTM and later a Coordinator for the OFCF and Project Coordinator for POTMOF. One of her greatest accomplishments was being the lead consultant on the Albert Joyner Sr. Mural installation and being a part of the Old Fort Trails Project. She hopes to continue to do good work in my community which she loves very much.


Lisa Jennings, Recreation and Trails Program Manager, Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest, USDA Forest Service
Black Mountain, North Carolina

Lisa Jennings is our local partner from the US Forest Service where she serves as the Recreation and Trails Program Manager for the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest. Lisa is the project manager for the Old Fort Trails Project and has dedicated her entire career to public service with the federal government. She represents the public part of the public-private partnership that is the G5 Trail Collective. Prior to coming to the Pisgah National Forest, where she is in her 8th year, Lisa worked as a communication specialist for climate change research with the US Forest Service Southern Research Station. She holds a master’s degree in Forest Management from North Carolina State University. Lisa fell in love with public lands as a child, hiking in national forests and parks on family vacations. She first moved to Western North Carolina to attend UNC Asheville as an undergraduate in 2005, and now lives in nearby Black Mountain with her family.


Jason McDougald, Executive Director, Camp Grier

Jason has been involved in the outdoor industry professionally for almost 40 years and recreationally his entire life. His early outings centered on backpacking in the mountains of North Georgia with his father. In 1986, when Jason was 11, his father moved to Greensboro, NC and opened a small outdoor store called Appalachian Outfitters which specialized in backpacking, climbing, and paddling equipment. Mentors were easy to find in this outdoor community and it wasn’t long before Jason found himself on rocks, rivers, and bigger mountains around the world. These trips led to a deep appreciation for wild places and a strong connection to the natural world. Jason has a Master’s degree in elementary education and has been a fourth grade teacher, climbing guide, wilderness therapy instructor, and camp director. Jason has been at Camp Grier since 2013 and enjoys spending time outside with his family and generally moving around in the mountains any way possible. His greatest joy is sharing summits, rivers, and trails with friends.


Closed Captioning

We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with VZP Digital. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.

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.


While we may individually agree (or disagree) in whole or in part with any or all of the participants, the views expressed in these webinars are not necessarily representative of the views of American Trails as an organization or its board and staff. Unless specific situations are noted by presenters, nothing in American Trails webinars should be considered to be interpreted as a standard.

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3,760 views • posted 06/29/2022