Designates 2018 as "Ohio's Year of the Trails." Passed Unanimously by the Senate. Read SCR 15 here.
OHIO LEGISLATURE DESIGNATES 2018 “YEAR OF THE TRAILS”
COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives has voted unanimously to approve Senate Concurrent Resolution 15 designating 2018 as “Ohio’s Year of the Trails”, following a unanimous vote by the Ohio Senate recognizing that “connecting trail segments is a powerful tool for economic & community development that should be actively facilitated.”
This resolution was introduced by Senator Sean O’Brien and Senator Steve Wilson, Chairs of the Ohio Legislative Trails Caucus (a bipartisan group of state-elected officials committed to connecting Ohioans via a statewide trail network), co-sponsored by 63 (of the remaining 130) state legislators, and celebrates trail networks as “an important feature in helping to improve the quality of life in our society by promoting healthy lifestyles via recreation and active transportation” and “represent[ing] the bonds that create communities.” The “Year of the Trails” raises awareness of our state's extensive trails networks, including the "nation's largest paved trail network" located in the Miami Valley, the 1400+-mile Buckeye Trail, the almost completed 300+-mile Ohio to Erie Trail connecting Cleveland to Cincinnati and linking 22 regional trails, and the many other mountain biking, water, equestrian, hiking and multi-use trail systems that span the Buckeye State.
Senator Wilson (R, 7) emphasizes that Ohio’s trail network is a “tremendous asset” and stresses our “great opportunity to preserve, expand and publicize it.” And, Senator O’Brien (D, 32) further highlights “the many economic benefits of Ohio’s trails” and wants to ensure that they are “developed and preserved for years to come.” View the full text of the Year of the Trails resolution at https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA132-SCR-15.
During the Year of the Trails, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), in conjunction with the Departments of Transportation, Health & Tourism, is working with the Ohio Trails Partnership and a variety of trail organizations across the state to move forward several important initiatives including a new State Trail Plan, for which public input meetings are happening around the state in June & July. Additionally, a website has been created by ODNR to connect Ohioans and our visitors to trail locations and events. For more information on these initiatives, visit https://trails.ohiodnr.gov.
As Ohio takes the lead among Midwest states to develop its statewide trails network – a critical strategy for retaining talented workers, attracting residents and creating new jobs – it is important that community members express their support for these initiatives. Ask your state legislators to join the Ohio Legislative Trails Caucus and become actively involved in building & maintaining recreational and active transportation trail systems via www.railstotrails.org/ohcaucus.
And, make sure to celebrate Ohio’s continuously improving trail networks by getting out on the trails and walking, running, rolling, biking, hiking, riding and paddling! We are proud that Ohio is a leader in providing sustainable trails for all users offering an extraordinary network of world-class recreation and transportation opportunities linking communities, people and places while stimulating economic and social vitality. The Year of the Trails provides important opportunities for chambers of commerce, convention & visitors bureaus, businesses, local elected officials and trail groups to promote Ohio and their communities as trail destinations with important amenities for visitors, not to mention the economic, health and environmental benefits that recreational and active transportation trail networks bring to communities across our state – expanding smart transportation options, fueling strong businesses & economies, encouraging the improvement of public health, enhancing regional competitiveness and promoting social equity. Ohio should continue to be a leader with regard to trail infrastructure – SCR 15 recognizes the importance of trails to our citizens and the continued success of our state.