Trail Towns - Leveraging Trails for Community and Economic Development

Take an in depth look at Trail Towns through programs in Kentucky and Michigan. Learn how community partners work to implement economic development, recreation and quality of life planning through Trail Towns.

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Event Details

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March 21, 2019

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 take an in depth look at Trail Towns through programs in Kentucky and Michigan. Learn how community partners work to implement economic development, recreation and quality of life planning through Trail Towns. State tourism, regional non-profit organizations, and local communities will discuss the role they have in creating on the ground success.

Hear about Kentucky’s statewide trail town program that demonstrates the process of quality planning and implementation tools to make trail connections. Learn how regional planning and visioning between community leaders, user groups and residents lets people identify their best recreational assets, natural areas and opportunities to bring you in and help you stay a while. Learn how a regional non-profit planning organization in Michigan has implemented a Trail Town program to help local communities re-invent themselves to become outdoor recreation destinations. Discover how a small town community has worked with multiple partners to seek Trail Town Certification.

Learning Objectives

  1. What are the elements of a trail town.
  2. How to start a Trail Town initiative in your community.
  3. Learn about best practices from communities that have already created a Trail Town initiative.


Webinar Partners


Harry Burkholder, Executive Director, Land Information Access Association

Harry is the Executive Director of the Land Information Access Association (LIAA), a non-profit organization located in beautiful Traverse City Michigan. Harry is responsible for setting the strategic direction and policies for LIAA and leads the organization in business planning, project management, program design and development, and day-to-day operations. Harry is responsible for developing and implementing a portfolio of local, regional and state-wide community development and planning projects, including LIAA’s Resilient Michigan Program. Harry has also established himself as one of the foremost authorities in Michigan for water trails and recreation authorities. In addition, his Trail Town planning efforts have resulted in collaborations with over 50 communities throughout the Midwest as well as the North Country Trail Association and National Main Street Program.


Russell Clark, Program Officer, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Program, National Park Service

Russell is based out of a Field Office at Mammoth Cave National Park and is providing technical planning assistance to local communities to create greenway and blueway trails throughout Kentucky. Prior to working for the National Park Service, Russell was the owner of a Community Planning, Landscape Architecture and Construction Management Company in northern Michigan for thirty-two years. He has worked nationally and internationally on recreation, resort and community development projects for private and public sector clients.

The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Program allows Russell to pursue his passion for assisting organizations and communities to improve local access to parks, recreation and conserve natural resources with a goal of making it easier for people to get outdoors and be active.


Helen Siewers, Greenways Project Manager, Metro Parks Nashville

Helen Siewers is a Registered Landscape Architect and LEED Accredited Professional. She works with Metro Parks Nashville as Greenways Project Manager. Helen worked previously as Project Director with Cave Country Trails based in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, as Campus Landscape Architect at Western Kentucky University, and Greenways Coordinator for Bowling Green and Warren County, Kentucky. Her first favorite park was Percy Warner Park in Nashville, TN, where she grew up.


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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1,866 views • posted 11/20/2018