Webinars

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 future and past topics below.

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.

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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.

TrailNation Summit

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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