Georgia Trail Summit spotlights tremendous progress in Columbus and around the state April 20 – 22
Trail building is at an all-time high across Georgia in rural and urban communities alike.
Now in its fourth year, the Georgia Trail Summit brings Georgia’s growing trail community together in Columbus where an impressive 35-mile regional trail network is taking shape. In time, it will span 60 miles of paved trails.
From April 20 to 22, trail professionals and other enthusiasts will meet at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center to hear relevant presentations and get outdoors for mobile workshops showcasing Columbus trails and parks – including the longest urban white water trail in the country.
In partnership with the Georgia Planning Association, AICP CM credits are available for the first time.
“We see a positive trend emerging in the southeast with regional trail networks designed to connect cities to each other and to places people want to go,” says Tracie Sanchez, Georgia Trail Summit director.
“Just five years ago, folks were building trails in independent silos. Thanks to resources like the Trail Summit, the positive health, transportation and economic benefits trails provide are amplified through broader collaborations and by connecting one trail to another,” Sanchez adds. Good examples are the Dragonfly Trails in Columbus, the 750-mile Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System near Birmingham and the Highlands to Islands Trail in Gainesville. All will be discussed along with 27 other presentations on how to plan, fund, build and manage new and existing trails.
On Earth Day, April 22, 12 mobile workshops offer the chance for paddling the river, urban hiking to experience the tree canopy, mountain biking, learning how to create heritage and cultural trails to boost tourism, geocaching and frequent walking and cycling tours along the Riverwalk and Dragonfly Trails to highlight history and how these amenities were built.
Registration is $100 and includes several meals and networking parties.
Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land (STPAL) recently became the 501-c3 nonprofit parent group of the Georgia Trail Summit. Synergies between land trusts and trail building is another focus of this year’s Trail Summit with four land conservation groups presenting.
“The Trail Summit is an immersive, well-rounded learning and networking event.” remarks Bill Jones, STPAL executive director. “It’s beneficial to Georgia’s outdoor recreation, conservation and trail communities.”
Sponsorships make the Georgia Trail Summit possible. Major 2017 sponsors include the River Valley Regional Commission, Columbus Convention & Visitors Bureau, Outside World Columbus, Office of Tourism Product Development, Georgia Department of Economic Development; MillionMile Greenway and trail planners KAIZENCOLLABORATIVE among others.
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