It’s been a few long years since the trails community has gathered for the International Trails Summit (ITS). This year’s ITS is being held in Reno, Nevada from April 17-20.
If you’re attending ITS, please stop by exhibit booth 217 to see me. I’ll have all sorts of info about Cycle Forward, free stickers, and books and zines for sale (buy them at ITS to save on postage).
Besides the booth, I’ll be leading and co-leading the following sessions:
Trail Town and Gateway Community Manager Idea Exchange
April 17, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (in Redwood 5)
Open to managers of existing trail town and gateway community initiatives. Come share ideas, challenges, and solutions related to your multi-community trail town or gateway community program. Learn from each other and build professional connections. Moderated by Amy Camp of Cycle Forward.
Creating Impact for your Project with Creative Storytelling
April 18, 9:30-10:30 a.m. (in Sierra 4)
Amy Kapp, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (Editor-in-Chief of Rails-to-Trails Magazine)
Capturing and inspiring people’s hearts and minds—that’s what it takes to bring a grand trail vision to life. This session will examine effective and impactful strategies for using storytelling to engage decision-makers, funders, partners and the public and build support for trails and active transportation projects.
A focus will be on how authentic storytelling and strategic communication can help communicate the impact of trails on communities and regions in terms of economic and small business development, active transportation, social equity and the environment; help captivate and expand audiences; and expand support and supporter bases. In addition, this panel of storytellers and community organizers will share strategies and tactics for lifting up the voices of individuals—including local public leaders and community members—who are critical to and would be most impacted by a project, to help drive it forward and create meaningful impact for everyone it serves.
Planning to be a Trail Town – Strategies and Pitfalls
April 19, 8:15-9:15 a.m. (in Cascade 4)
Tony Boone, Timberline TrailCraft, LLC, and Tony Boone Trails, Inc.
Samantha Browne, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
From economic benefits to quality of life to community health, it is undeniable that trails can transform communities. This roundtable discussion will explore strategies to use trails as a tool for community development as well as pitfalls and lessons learned from existing ‘trail towns’ including housing (affordability and rental growth), business development, stakeholder engagement, and related facilities needed.
Tech Talk: Trail Town & Gateway Community Key Document Walk Through
April 19, 1:15-2:15 p.m. (in Cascade 1)
This is a 20-minute tech talk being presented in a grouping of talks. The other talks will be given by Trails Unlimited and Camelot Tools. My talk is intended for those thinking about creating a multi-community trail town or gateway community designation program. I will review examples of two documents that are critical to the successful launch of any designation program: a community application and a sample community resolution. When carefully designed, each of these helps to communicate program requirements and expectations, determine community readiness, and convey programmatic values and priorities.