filed under: community & partnership development

Powerful Partnerships

Lessons Learned on Leveraging Public-Private Funding for Trails

This webinar covers innovative funding strategies for water and land trails with two case studies of strong public-private partnerships.

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Event Details

** This event has passed **

December 08, 2016

10:30 AM to 12:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:30 AM to 01:00 AM (Mountain Time)
12:30 PM to 02:00 AM (Central Time)
01:30 PM to 03:00 AM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers

Learning Credit Cost:

  • CEUs are FREE for this webinar.
  • Note:

    Closed Captioning is available for this webinar.
    Learning Credits are NOT available for this webinar.


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    Webinar Outline



    How do major trail infrastructure and improvement projects take shape in light of tight budgets and limited public resources? How can public-private partnerships help take trails from vision to reality?

    Learn more about how two Michigan organizations charted new courses in funding waters and helped support miles of trails and related infrastructure through strong public-private partnerships. Learn about funding strategies related to blueways and greenways; what worked (and what didn’t) to help bring life to water trails and multi-use trails in diverse settings across the state— from urban downtowns and suburban settings, to national lakeshores and small towns.

    Huron River Water Trail and RiverUp!

    RiverUp!, the public-private partnership to revitalize and restore the Huron River since 2012, has invested more than $1 million in local projects that leveraged more than $35 million to improve river recreation access, improve river health, and connect our downtowns to the blue economy. RiverUp! seeks to realize the goal of a vibrant, robust, and restored river as a destination for residents and visitors to Michigan.

    We’ve completed a successful initial capital campaign and are well into the second campaign. When done, we will have raised $2.5 million in five years for the Huron River corridor and leveraged another $50 million from our partners along the river; download the most recent report for more information (pdf 7.3mb).



    Traverse Area Recreation & Transportation (TART Trails)

    Over the past 17 years, TART Trails’ has developed public-private partnerships for non-motorized infrastructure in the Grand Traverse region. Between 2012 and 2016, for every $100 in donations, TART Trails was able to leverage $700 more for trail development, averaging over 10 miles of trail constructed each year.

    In 2010, the 27-mile Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail which runs the length of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was launched. The trail is a partnership between Networks Northwest, a regional planning organization, the Michigan Department of Transportation, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, an all-volunteer friends group responsible for the trail maintenance, and TART Trails, responsible for the private fundraising effort. This partnership set a fundraising goal of over $10 million which included costs for trail development and a 10% set aside for the long term maintenance of the trail. For more information visit and download Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail brochure (pdf 1.3 mb)


    Webinar Partners


    Elizabeth Riggs, Deputy Director, Huron River Watershed Council

    Elizabeth Riggs serves as Deputy Director for the Huron River Watershed Council, a research and education not-for-profit recognized internationally for its collaborative approach to integrated river basin management. She manages RiverUp!, a public-private revitalization of the Huron River focused on projects that improve river ecology, recreation, and placemaking that leverages freshwater assets.

    Elizabeth also manages the Huron River Water Trail and led the effort for its successful designation as a National Water Trail in 2015. Ms. Riggs earned her Master of Science degree at The University of Michigan, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lawrence University in Wisconsin.


    Julie Clark, TART Trails

    Julie provides leadership and oversees the delivery and execution of TART Trail's mission to enrich the Grand Traverse region by providing a network of trails, bikeways and pedestrian ways; and encouraging their use. Active in trail development and policies at the local and state level, she currently serves on the Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee and the Board of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.

    Julie has a long history in trail planning and development working on local, state, and national trail efforts throughout her career. She and her family moved to Traverse City in 2010 from Charlotte, North Carolina and live near downtown and use the trails for work and play.


    Closed Captioning

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    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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