RTC's Trail Expert Network and Policy team produce a free webinar series designed to help trail professionals build, grow, manage, maintain, promote or otherwise support trails and trail networks.
Ready to start learning from trail experts across the country? Check out our topics below.
Across the country, trail use is surging. At its highest point since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of trail users spiked to rates nearly 200% higher than last year at this time. This surge in trail use has introduced trail management and maintenance challenges that have led managers to seek new strategies to adjust—where serving more with less has become the reality as the impacts of the pandemic continue.
Though some parks and trails have been closed due to overcrowding, many have remained open—and more are reopening as local restrictions to manage the pandemic are loosened. As trails remain front and center in providing outdoor opportunities and mobility for Americans, trail managers seek to provide local residents with safe, equitable access to places for outdoor activity and transportation to vital jobs and services.
Join outdoors, park and trail professionals as they discuss the challenges being faced, creative solutions being developed and the role we all can play in being safe and responsible trail users. Whether a fellow trail professional or an avid trail user this webinar will be a great opportunity to learn and understand what it is taking to keep Americas trails safe and open in this ever evolving landscape.
The Role of Trails in Economic Recovery Webinar
April 30, 2020
This webinar provided an overview of how economic stimulus plans and reauthorization of the federal transportation law could advance trails and active transportation, and how you can help.
Closing Streets to Create Space for Walking and Biking During COVID-19
Apr. 2, 2020
Many cities already practice "open streets" and "car-free streets" on major thoroughfares as standard practice on weekends, but with the unprecedented changes we’re facing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, converting more streets to car-free zones seven days per week could profoundly change the quality of life for millions of Americans. Join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy to hear from advocates and city leaders who have acted quickly to make open-streets available in their cities on a daily basis.
Trail Use and Management During the COVID 19 Pandemic
Mar. 26, 2020
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, we’re seeing how important trails and other active transportation infrastructure are in creating strong, healthy, resilient communities. In the last few weeks, we seen unprecedented numbers of people turning to trails and walking and biking for physical activity, respite and transportation. As a result, trail managers are facing unprecedented challenges to respond to the extreme increase in demand, while simultaneously striving to balance public health and safety in an era of social distancing. Watch our rapid-response webinar to hear from trail leaders in COVID-19 hotspots who are facing these challenges in real time.
RTC's Release of Study Connecting Cleveland to Pittsburgh by Trail
Mar. 18, 2020
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and our Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition partners invite you to join us and leaders from Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania as we detail findings from the Cleveland to Pittsburgh corridor feasibility study. The Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition is pursuing a vision of a 1,500-miles-plus multiuse trail network that stretches across 51 counties in four states: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The trail network is one of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s TrailNation™ projects designed to demonstrate the outcomes that trail networks deliver to every type of community in the nation.
How You Can Impact the Next Federal Transportation Bill
Feb. 26, 2020
Watch our webinar to learn how you can help advance trails and active transportation through the federal transportation debate now underway and ensure the passage of legislation that funds and supports active transportation. This webinar reviews the progress we’ve made thus far and provide an overview of priority funding bills. Learn about the Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act, the Transportation Alternatives Enhancements Act, the Recreational Trails Program Full Funding Act of 2020 and the Active Transportation for Public Lands Act; explore why these bills are important for trails and active transportation; and find out how you can help make sure they are included in the reauthorization package.
Get Ready for Opening Day for Trails 2020
Jan. 30, 2020
Saturday, April 18, 2020, is Opening Day for Trails (Opening Day)! Join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and people across the nation to kick off the spring trail season by hitting your favorite trail for a walk, run, ride or special event. On Thursday, Jan. 30, we are hosting a special webinar for you—our amazing partners—to share resources and to answer questions you may have about Opening Day for Trails.
Connecting America's Active Transportation Systems Act
Jan. 28, 2020
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy hosts a Q&A to answer your questions about the newly introduced "Connecting America's Active Transportation Systems Act," co-sponsored by Reps. Daniel Lipinski (Ill.-3), Jared Huffman (Calif.-2) and Chris Pappas (N.H.-1), will provide $500 million in direct funding to help communities and regions across the country build connected active-transportation systems to ensure people can get where they want to go safely by foot, bike or wheelchair.
Trail Development and Technical Assistance Resources Webinar
January 22, 2020
RTC has a number of resources available to trail professionals and advocates to build and grow your trail network. Learn more about useful information and data on railstotrails.org and new ways to connect with trail professionals from across the country.
The Path Forward: America’s Active Transportation Investment
October 15, 2019
Trail networks are as fundamental to America’s transportation systems as roads and rail lines and deserve robust federal investment. The webinar discussion will explore the return on investment that flows from policies that prioritize active transportation infrastructure and greenways to make walking and biking more seamless for more people.
Finding the “Right” Maintenance Approach for Your Trail
September 10, 2019
As the rail-trail and multi-use trail movement matures, there is growing concern about how to maintain trail infrastructure to ensure safety and a high-quality experience for the growing amount of trail users.
Pop-up Events and Temporary Infrastructure
July 31, 2019
Pop-up events and temporary infrastructure projects are flexible, inexpensive ways to demonstrate changes in streetscape designs. They help show the public how they can experience their city streets in new ways. And they open a communication channel that can guide officials to invest in projects that are supported by the public. Take a look at how communities across the country are using these innovative techniques to help promote trail network connectivity.
Public Art on Trails
June 18, 2019
Public art can help elevate a trail from practical infrastructure to an inviting space cherished by the community. A strategic investment in trail art can pay dividends, helping to establish the trail not only as a community asset, but also as a tourist destination. Installing trail art can also do wonders to encourage public engagement and stewardship of any multiuse trail—while at the same time supporting local artists.
Understanding Legal Issues Affecting Rails-to-Trails Conversions
March 26, 2019
Since Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's founding, we have been the nation’s foremost—and in most cases, only—legal advocate for rail-trails in the nonprofit sector. Under the direction of Andrea Ferster, RTC’s general counsel, our legal program has participated in numerous landmark rail-trail cases and supported countless trail managers, trail advocates and their legal counsel across the United States.
Get Ready for Opening Day 2019
February 28, 2019
On April 13, 2019, Opening Day for Trails will be a celebration of RTC's official kick-off of the trail season. Suzanne Matyas, RTC's Marketing and Social Media Manager, shares what Opening Day is, a recap of past successes, perks of participating and resources available to you.
Trail Network Signage: Creating a Unified Brand
February 19, 2019
Signage is an important feature of any trail, helping inform trail users where they are and where they are going, ensuring their safety, and pointing out amenities and landmarks to make the experience more enjoyable. For trail networks, signage takes on added importance, unifying individual trails under a common brand and elevating their visibility as an integrated system.
Making the Value Case for Trails
October 31, 2018
Trails and trail networks have shown time and again to provide a wealth of benefits that exceed their costs. However, it can be difficult to define and assess the economic value of trails—activities that often are crucial to successfully making the case for public investment in trails to voters and elected officials. In this webinar, Shane Farthing, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s senior director of active transportation programs, dives into two related questions: How do we understand the value of our trail to the community? And how do we make the best overall case for our trail? Kelly Pack, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s director of trail development, frames the discussion with a real-world case study of the need for making the value case stemming from her work on the Parkersburg to Pittsburgh Corridor in West Virginia.
Revolutionizing Places: A Strategy for Putting Trails at the Center of Our Communities
May 16, 2018
There is a mobility shift, driven by the sharing economy, happening all across the country, and people of all ages are seeking to live in walkable bikeable communities where they no longer need a personal vehicle to get to the places that they need and want to go. Learn more about RTC’s vision of a transportation revolution where the 30,000+ miles of existing multiuse trails, and biking and walking infrastructure, could serve as key elements to healthy thriving communities.
Coalition Building TrailNation Summit Webinar
March 14, 2018
In this edition, RTC staff and partners highlight TrailNation case studies that provide insight on how to manage an inclusive process to create a broad-based network of partners in the public, for-profit and nonprofit sectors across the defined region to jointly create political will and implement the vision.
Creating Equitable Connectivity: An Overview
May 2, 2018
Active transportation projects are important ways to connect communities. But as trail professionals, how do we ensure that everyone has access to these safe, low-stress connections? In this webinar, Shane Farthing, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s senior director of active transportation programs, examines how multimodal connectivity is assessed and discusses RTC’s BikeAble tool, an origin-to-destination bicycle connectivity analysis that can inform the development of trails and other low-stress bicycling infrastructure that connects people to opportunities.
Project Vision: Creating a Vision and Defining the Purpose, Goals and Outcomes of a Trail Network
February 16, 2018
This first edition of the webinar series provides an overview on how to create and promote a common vision of a trail network that connects people’s imaginations with their communities, their neighbors and their environment.
Mapping, Analysis and Gap Filling
March 22, 2018
Learn from RTC’s D.C. TrailNation project manager on how to create a geospatial dataset to identify open trails as well as gap projects in each of the networks through mapping, and then analyze the current and future network to identify the highest level priorities for gap filling. Additionally, hear from RTC’s Baltimore TrailNation project manager on his experience in developing strategies for engaging communities and leveraging political, natural and economic capital to complete gaps in the network.
Branding and Engagement TrailNation Summit Webinar
April 26, 2018
RTC’s Vice President of Communications shares 30,000-foot-level concepts on how to develop and implement a communications and marketing strategy to raise awareness and build political will, as well as the grassroots support, needed to advance a trail project and encourage use.
Investment Strategy: Designing a Funding and Financing Strategy for a Trail Network
May 16, 2018
RTC’s policy team and partners provide an overview on tactics to develop and implement a strategy to accelerate network completion by securing federal, state and local public funding to fill the gaps in each trail network, depending on which streams are accessible and complementary.
Trail Towns: Proven Steps to Boost Your Trail Town Growth
October 4, 2017
There aren’t cash registers on your trail. If you want ridership to boost your local economy, you have to tap your town into that opportunity—actively. The Progress Fund’s Trail Town Program was the first to formalize this approach, and has successfully grown the economic impact of the Great Allegheny Passage for 10+ years. View this webinar to learn how to follow their lead to bring more trail tourism to your community.
Make It Count: Measuring Traffic and Use in Large-Scale Trail Networks
May 18, 2017
Collecting current data on trail users can prove a powerful aid when submitting funding requests to support the development of new trails or the maintenance and upgrading of existing trails. As trails increasingly become connected, strategies to collect and make trail traffic data available to decision-makers and the public must evolve with the movement. This webinar provides an overview of three different strategies to collect and make available trail traffic data in large-scale—and growing—trail networks across the country.
T-MAP: The Next Generation of Urban Trail Planning Tools
August 18, 2016
The Trail Modeling and Assessment Platform (T-MAP), launched by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in 2014, is a three-year research and development initiative to create the next generation of urban trail planning tools. This webinar provides an overview of the T-MAP platform, an outline of current and future features, and a tutorial on the Trail Traffic Calculator, a free online tool that lets you estimate annual and average daily traffic on your trail using minimal real-world usage counts.
Rails-with-Trails: Safe, Common and Growing
April 7, 2016
Trails alongside active rail lines can provide safe and attractive transportation networks for people who walk and bike. This webinar, featuring guest experts from around the country, focuses on rail-with-trail development in all stages, including negotiating with a railroad company, a railroad agency’s own standards for rail-with-trail, and interacting with a railroad company once a rail-with-trail is built.
RTC is convened hand-picked leaders from across the country for a summit to harness the energy and the knowledge that is fueling the national movement to connect communities and regions by trails. The Summit gathered a team of national experts; public officials; trail and active transportation advocates; and philanthropic, public health and economic development professionals from RTC's TrailNation™ projects and the TrailNation Collaborative to share best practices.
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