Media Advisory For: June 6-7, 2018


Patricia Brooks,, 202.351.1757

TrailNation™ Summit Brings Diverse Insight on Community Impacts of Trail Networks

Journalists to get insider perspective from transportation planners, elected officials, health, diversity and economic experts on the role of trail networks in solving important community challenges

MILWAUKEE—The inaugural TrailNation™ Summit, scheduled for June 5-7 in Milwaukee, is a first-of-its-kind gathering intended to harness the regional success of trail networks across the country in a collaborative effort to build a more connected, walkable and bikeable America. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation’s largest trails advocacy organization, is spearheading the event.

This invitation-only event will gather experts in a comprehensive discussion of the transformative power of trail networks to address challenges that every community in America is facing, including chronic disease, mobility, social equity, funding and economic development.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and former Wisconsin congressman and RTC board member Tom Petri will welcome Summit attendees on June 6.


TrailNation Summit 


June 6 – 7, 2018 (plenary sessions will be streamed live at, full agenda available here)

  • The TrailNation Playbook, June 6 at 8:00 a.m. (CDT) An exploration of the country’s most innovative trail network projects that are tackling issues related to the economy, health and mobility. Panelists: Kate Kraft, Ph.D., America Walks (moderator); Sarah Clark Stuart, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia; Meg Daly, Friends of The Underline (Miami, Florida), Joe Delmagori, Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission; Dr. Rose Gowen, Commissioner, City of Brownsville, Texas; Katie Harris, Washington Area Bicyclist Association (D.C.); Leon Pinkett, Councilman, City of Baltimore, Maryland; Kent Spellman, West Virginia Trail Advocate; and Yves Zsutty, City of San Jose, California.
  • Disruption, Mobility and the Built Environment, June 6 at 12:45 p.m. (CDT) Leading national voices will tackle the challenges that communities face as they plan to address changing technology and transportation landscapes at the intersection of trails, the sharing economy and autonomous vehicles. Panelists: Laura Bliss, CityLab (moderator); Heather Deutsch, ALTA Planning and Design; Robin Hutcheson, National Association of City Transportation Officials; Keith Laughlin, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; and Blaine Merker, Gehl.
  • Planning for Equity, June 7 at 8:30 a.m. (CDT) This panel will explore new approaches to planning, community building and development with the intention of righting wrongs of structural racism and economic barriers to equitable transportation. Panelists: Beth Haskovec, LISC Milwaukee; Grace Kyung, TrailNet (St. Louis); Juan Carlos Linares, Latin United Community Housing Association (Chicago); and Lynda Lopez, Streetsblog (moderator).
  • Trails Are the Solution, June 7 at 12:45 p.m. (CDT) This panel will offer a comprehensive discussion of the transformative power of trail networks to address challenges that every community in America is facing: chronic disease, mobility, social equity and economic growth. Panelists include Vanessa Garrison, GirlTrek; Gabe Klein, CityFi; and Taldi Walter, REI Co-op.

SPECIAL EVENT, June 6 at 5:30 p.m. (CDT)

  • Press are invited to join Summit attendees for a tour of the 30th Street Corridor, an active rail line with the potential to become a trail that could connect thousands of Milwaukee residents to active transportation. When complete, this project will create new opportunities for transportation access and stimulate economic opportunity for residents in the urban hub of the Route of the Badger trail network. The tour will expand upon findings from RTC’s 2017 study, “Reconnecting Milwaukee,” about equitable trail access in the city.


Milwaukee County War Memorial Center, Memorial Hall (in-person)

750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202

The livestream of Summit plenaries available at

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong—dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines. Connect with RTC at and @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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File size: 160 KB

Published on 06/01/18

Author: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Collection: Trail Promotion

Type: Press release