Trails and Greenways: Designing for the Future Workshop planned
by Sue Forde, Citizen Review Online
Now that trails exist in virtually every state across the United States, the question remains: what is the real purpose of these trails? Touted as "locally developed," the trails that have sprung up are funded primarily out of the federal coffers, and promoted by environmental organizations, rather than truly 'local' citizens. Citizens have often protested the creation of trails in their backyards, concerned about the welfare of children because of transients, and the costs of maintaining and policing the trails. Despite local voices, the trails have been pushed forward, at great expense to taxpayers both federally and locally.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has recently announced its "TrailLink 2003: Designing for the Future - the International Trails and Greenways Conference" to be held in Providence, Rhode Island from June 26-29, 2003.
According to its call for papers and submissions, the Conservancy states that "more than 800 trail and greenway 'experts' and 'advocates' will share ideas, reach new constituencies and build new partnerships" at the conference. "The international trails and greenways community will have the opportunity to create a global environment and advance the worldwide development of trails and greenways," touts the announcement.
The Conservancy's website invites interested parties to "link up with the world's experts and examine how trails and greenways have gained global momentum as tools for addressing smart growth, livable communities, brownfields restoration and public health."
In addition, the organization says that "In addition, participants can take inspiration from global success stories, learn new tools for motivating staff and board, local advocates and community leaders, and be reenergized by the power of trails on our everyday lives."
It would appear from the theme of the event that communities have only seen the beginning of the trails and how they will play a role in their lives. Trails are promoted as creating "more livable communities," and will possibly be governed by "trail managers".
The question remains as to who will pay for the maintenance and policing
of the trails, as well as potential lawsuits from loss of life and
accidents or illegal activities from dealing drugs to muggings or
Workshop themes have already been developed, including:
Suggested U.S. and International Topics for Discussion:
The invitation to submit proposals for the workshops is
limited to 'experts' and 'planners', including U.S. and international
professionals, academics and advocates with experience working on trails
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]