Program

 2020 Georgia Trail Summit

Keynote Speakers

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Sunday, May 3, 2020 – Mobile Workshops

GTS 2020- Mobile Workshops:

 

Connecting North Augusta’s Ecosystems: A Walking Tour of Brick Pond

Sunday, May 3, 2019
2:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Brick Pond Park and Greeneway Trail – North Augusta, SC

Brick Pond Park in North Augusta, South Carolina, is a forty-acre wetland park that includes a walking trial for visitors, a restored habitat for wildlife, a constructed stormwater treatment system for water quality and an avenue of education to the public. It is located at an abandoned industrial site from the early to middle 1900’s that runs along the Savannah River. This workshop will highlight the following aspects of Brick Pond Park: Economic Development and Design, Education and Outreach, and Stormwater Treatment and Water Quality.

PLA CEU-0   AICP CM-1.5

Facilitators:

  • Michaela Day; Environmental Technician, City of North Augusta: Stormwater Management Department
  • Tanya Strickland; Stormwater Superintendent, City of North Augusta: Stormwater Management Department

 

Exploring Augusta’s Waterways: A Paddle Trip of the Savannah River & Augusta Canal

Sunday, May 3, 2019
12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area/Savannah River

Attendees will be exposed to Augusta’s great waterways with a fascinating 4 hour, afternoon flatwater paddle, exploring a section of the Augusta Canal (one of GA’s 18 established water trails) as well as a section of the Savannah River (an adjacent developing water trail). Along the way, Georgia River Network will highlight key elements necessary for developing a successful water trail. In addition, Savannah Riverkeeper will discuss the importance of healthy rivers and water quality monitoring programs; Phinizy Center for Water Sciences will cover the importance of recognizing and highlighting natural history along the trail; and GA Conservancy will touch on conservation efforts.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-4

No partner or paddling experience is required. Savannah Rapids Kayak Rental will outfit participants with life jackets, paddles, and kayaks.

Facilitators:

  • Gwyneth Moody; Director of Water Trails and Outreach, Georgia River Network
  • Truck Carlson; Veterans for Clean Water Director, Savannah Riverkeeper
  • Ruth Mead; Education Director, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

 

Walking the Euchee Creek Greenway: Design and Construction Next to an Active Creek

Sunday, May 3, 2019
12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Euchee Creek Greenway

Overview of the Euchee Creek Greenway and walking tour with stops at key locations to discuss the planning, design, permitting, and construction of Phase 1A of the Euchee Creek Greenway in Columbia County, Georgia. This phase consisted of approximately 4.5 miles of trail including boardwalk sections, bridge crossings, and roadway crossings. This walking tour will discuss the challenges encountered during the design process and ultimately constructing the trail next to a very active creek and fighting flood waters.

PLA CEU-0 AICP CM-1.5

Please wear walking shoes and bring a water bottle. Dress appropriately for the weather.

Facilitators:

  • Mitchell Murchison; Municipal Design Group Manager Cranston Engineering
  • Thomas Parrott; Project Manager Cranston Engineering
  • Jonathan Williams; Landscape Architect Columbia County Board of Commissioners
  • Scott Sterling; Division Director Columbia County Planning Services Division

 

Canal Cruise on Augusta’s Water Corridor

Sunday, May 3, 2019
12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area

The Augusta Canal was constructed in 1845-1846 for the three fold purpose of transportation, hydro mechanical water power and public water system. The real motivation was to reverse the decline in the population of Augusta in the 1830’s by attracting the textile mills primarily located in the northeastern part of the country to the south were the main source of cotton was located. This trip aboard the Petersburg boats will provide a narrated history aboard these replicas of the original boats along this historic waterway that are now powered by electricity rather being pulled by mules. Prior to the boat trip, participants will view a ten-minute orientation movie on the history of the canal and the process involved in its construction. Participants can view the turbines that still produce hydroelectricity using the water from the canal to produce electricity for the renovated Enterprise Mill and the excess sold to Georgia Power.

PLA CEU-0 AICP CM-1.5

 

Facilitators:

  • Dayton L. Sherrouse FAICP;Executive Director Augusta Canal Authority
  •  Kelli Spearman;Tour GuideAugusta Canal Heritage Area, Inc.
  • Cathy Simmons;Lead Boat Captain, Petersburg Boats Augusta Canal National Heritage Area, Inc

 

Augusta by Bicycle: Pedaling the City’s Trails

Sunday, May 3, 2019
12:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area

Most of the trails fall under the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area was designated in 1996 by an act of Congress. It is over 2,000 acres of protected land with over 25 miles of trails for public recreational use. This land is on and along the 1845 industrial canal. The canal was constructed for the three fold purpose of transportation, hydro mechanical water power and public water system.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-3

Facilitators:

  • Julianna Shurtleff;Development and Outreach Manager Augusta Canal National Heritage Area
  • Margaret Harrison; Manager Programs & Business Operations Augusta Canal National Heritage Area

 

Monday, May 4, 2020- Classroom Sessions

GTS 2020 – Morning Break-Out Sessions: 

Creative Approaches to Trail Building: Latest Lessons Learned from the Atlanta BeltLine

Atlanta BeltLine Inc, and its partners are taking creative and opportunistic approaches to expedite the build-out of a 33-mile-plus trail network that connects 46 communities across Atlanta. This session considers four planned and active trail segments that exemplify the organization’s new strategies. The proposed trail segments promise to forge new connections between Atlanta communities with different physical, ecological and socioeconomic circumstances. Each project is tailored to local conditions and designed to deliberately address community needs and challenges.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Kevin W. Burke, PLA, FASLA: Director of Design, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
  • Pete Pellegrini: Project Manager, PATH Foundation

 

Build a Water Trail in Your Community

As more communities look for new ways to increase economic development by tapping into existing resources, water trails are becoming a cost effective tourism draw that connect to local greenways, hiking, and biking trails. In this classroom session Georgia River Network will cover the key elements necessary to develop your local waterway into a water trail using proven guidelines and examples of successes and lessons learned. South River Watershed Alliance, Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, and The Nature Conservancy, all key stakeholders of the South River Water Trail in metro Atlanta, will highlight their on-the-ground experiences developing the trail and touch on the hurdles they continue to overcome. Georgia River Network will also showcase the newly developed Georgia Water Trail River User App – the newest resource in their Water Trail Toolbox – created to help communities promote their established water trails.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Gwyneth Moody: Director of Water Trails and Outreach, Georgia River Network
  • Jacqueline Echols, PhD: Board President, South River Watershed Alliance
  • Ayanna Williams MSW: Healthy Cities Director, The Nature Conservancy

 

Trails through History: Augusta Canal’s Trail System

Built-in 1845, the Augusta Canal tells the story of the Industrial Revolution in the American South in the era before, during, and after the American Civil War. Recognizing the significance of this historic feature, the Augusta Canal Authority developed a master plan for highlighting the historical impact. Since then, innovative trial designs have directed the construction of more than 13 miles of trails. This system has generated excitement in the community which is now able to walk, run, and bike through history.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Dayton Sherrouse, FAICP: Executive Director, Augusta Canal Authority
  • Rick Toole, PE, AICP: Vice President, Georgia Division Manager, Alfred Benesch & Company
  • Shannon M. Dodd, PE: Project Manager, GDOT/Gresham Smith

 

Tackling Challenging Greenway Projects: 26 Lessons Learned

This session will present the process of Chattanooga’s Greenway development from a master plan to a bike ride on the finished trail. Challenges faced included steep slopes, wetlands, river and railroad crossings, site inaccessibility, and bridge placement. Illustrations on the construction process and the use of a deck-built procedure to build as you go will be highlighted. The presentation of 26 lessons learned will be integrated into the session to provide useful tips to help you avoid pitfalls in your next project.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Larry Zehnder, CPRP: Retired Administrator Chattanooga Parks, Recreation Arts and Culture, City of Chattanooga
  • Steve Provost: Vice President, Barge Design Solutions, Inc
  • John Brown, PLA LEED AP: Senior Landscape Architect, Barge Design Solutions
  • Ben Nemec: Senior Engineering Manager, Barge Design Solutions
  • Jenny Park: Tennessee State Director,  The Trust for Public Land

 

Florida’s Vision for Trails, Blueways, and Greenways

Outdoor recreation is a major driver of tourism in Florida. Resource-based outdoor recreation also contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Because of Florida’s climate, diversity of natural landscapes, and award-winning state parks, waterways, and trails, the state offers a tremendous selection of trail, greenway, and blueway experiences for residents as well as visitors. Linking these individual opportunities into a larger recreation and conservation system is essential to maximizing the value of individually planned and managed public lands. The Florida Greenways and Trails System is the foundation for connecting and providing access to recreational hubs ranging from sizeable state and national forests to small community parks. Making this happen requires coordination, education, promotion, partnerships, and strategic investments. Outdoor recreation and the Florida Greenways and Trails System stand to be an international attraction, providing a safe and unforgettable experience for residents and visitors to the state. Florida is positioned at the forefront of an exciting period that will result in improved health and wellness, economic growth, increased alternative transportation methods and outdoor recreation opportunities, more livable communities and increased conservation efforts, all of which all contribute to an improved quality of life.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Britney Moore: Outdoor Recreation Program Manager,  Florida Office of Greenways and Trails
  • Doug Alderson: Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator,  Apalachicola Riverkeeper

 

GTS 2020 – Afternoon Break-Out Sessions:

Connecting the North Oconee Greenway Trail through UGA’s Campus

An overview of the North Oconee Greenway Trail, its importance to Athens-Clarke County and the University of Georgia. A focus will be placed on the evaluation of the trail alignment and the related studies and permitting processes needed to assist with this evaluation. Highlights will include how multiple disciplines work together to resolve complex design and permitting challenges on trail systems within dynamic environments.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Derek Doster: Program/Project Manager, Athens-Clarke County/Jacobs Engineering
  • Andrea Greco: Senior Project Manager, Pond & Co
  • Shawn Springston: Senior Project Manager, Astra

 

From $1M to $10M per Mile: Factors Affecting Greenway Trail Costs

This session will feature three cities: LaGrange, Newnan, and Brookhaven. Each has a range of implementation costs for its initial trail project and additional phases. Representatives from each will present strategies for funding, existing conditions that drive up costs, and featured amenities. Construction costs of trails vary from $1 million to $10 million per mile. The panel will discuss their city’s creative approaches to keeping costs down, identifying local funding, long-range planning, and advocating for future trails.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

    • Greta deMayo, PLA:  Executive Director,  PATH Foundation
    • Ed McBrayer:  Executive Advisor,  PATH Foundation
    • Meg Kelsey:  City Manager, C ity of LaGrange, GA
    • Hasco Craver:  Assistant City Manager,  City of Newnan, GA
    • Moe Trebuchon: Peachtree Creek Greenway Project Manager,  City of Brookhaven, GA

 

Leveraging Utility Corridors

One of the biggest challenges for building a trail is finding the right of way.  Representatives from Georgia Power, Southern Company Gas and a local water department will provide their perspective on utility corridors and how you can work with them to build a trail.  You also will learn how Valdosta/Lowndes County was able to build a park in a Georgia Power easement.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Joey Slaughter: Manager of Natural Resources,  Georgia Power
  • Patrick Winnubst: Senior Environmental Specialist,  Southern Company Gas
  • George Page: Valdosta/Lowndes County Parks & Rec Authority

 

Making it Happen: Our State Office of Outdoor Recreation

Recreation is a serious business for community development. A Georgia Outdoor Recreation Office would connect communities to grow their family ties to land and water, increase economic development opportunities, promote health and wellness, ensure conservation and stewardship of public lands and waters, and invest in bridging the outdoor adventure gap for underserved children. Join Outdoor Industry Association nonprofit partners and industry experts in a discussion about this emerging state-level trend. Learn how an Outdoor Recreation Office could help Georgia and help brainstorm ideas about how to establish such an entity here in Georgia.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Gabe Vasquez:  Founder, Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project,  New Mexico Wildlife Federation
  • Jessica Wahl: Executive Director, Outdoor Industry Roundtable
  • Rena Ann Peck: Executive Director, Georgia River Network
  • William Irving: President, Nantahala Outdoor Center
  • George Dusenbury:  GA State Office Director, Trust for Public Land

 

Parks Allatoona: Connecting Town & Wilderness, Past & Present

This session will discuss concept development, trail planning, interagency collaboration, progress & actions to date, and projected future decisions needed for the Parks Allatoona concept to reach fruition. The session will outline how the urban area of Bartow County and Cartersville will connect to the impressive adjoining, but presently inaccessible wilderness area along the mountainous terrain adjacent to Lake Allatoona’s northern and Stamp Creek shoreline. This session will focus on how the proposed trail system connects to economic development, quality of life, users’ mental health, and the importance of the natural environment exposure to urban populations and area youth.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Mike Bearden: Community Volunteer, Parks Allatoona Visionary; Lake Allatoona Assoc. Inc. Chair; Bartow County Emissary
  • Ed Bostick: Community Volunteer, Bartow County Greenspace Committee; Georgia Botanical Society
  • Joe Head: Vice President, Etowah Valley Historical Society
  • Ellen Archer: Executive Director, Cartersville-Bartow County Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

GTS 2020 – Closing Break-Out Sessions:

If We Connect, They Will Return: Butterflies and Chestnuts Attracting People to Nature Trails

The South Fork trail experiment in Fulton and DeKalb Counties connecting neighbors along an urban creek included two projects and several partnerships. The American Chestnut Foundation and the Chattahoochee Nature Center offered leadership and support. Together, their expert scientific knowledge brought school children, teachers, parents, scout leaders, and grandparents to the trails for repeated visits to plan, tend, and enjoy the restoration of chestnuts, milkweed, and butterflies. These projects helped introduce different neighborhoods, ages, and abilities to the trails and to each other – building new social capital around a trail project.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Sally Sears: Founding Director, The South Fork Conservancy
  • John French, Ph.D.: Bio Chemist, The American Chestnut Foundation
  • Henning von Schmeling: Senior Director of Operations, The Chattahoochee Nature Center
  • Lisa Kiely: Founder, Milkweed for Monarchs
  • Mark Stoakes: Georgia Chapter President, The American Chestnut Foundation

 

Peachtree City: Sharing Trails with Low-Speed Electric Vehicles

There is a lively debate going on around the country about whether electric bikes, scooters, skateboards, and other emerging electric ‘rideables’ should be allowed on greenways. Peachtree City, Georgia has welcomed larger e-vehicles such as golf carts or neighborhood electric vehicles on trails for decades. This session will explore pros and cons along with design considerations associated with trails where people walk, bicycle, and operate low-speed electric vehicles. Learn about emerging national trends in electronic micromobility and how it is changing the profession’s approach to design, regulation, maintenance, and marketing of trails.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Phil Mallon, P.E.: County Engineer, Fayette County
  • Robin Bechtel Cailloux, AICP: Director, Planning and Development, Peachtree City
  • Collin Chesston: Planning Associate, Alta Planning + Design

 

A Bipartisan Legislative Trail Caucus for Georgia

An effort is underway to create a bipartisan Trail Caucus in the Georgia Legislature. The panel members represent organizations that initiated that effort: The Firefly Trail, Georgia Bikes, and the East Coast Greenway. Panelists will recall the origins of the current efforts, consider the progress to date, and seek audience input on future participation in the Trail Caucus Initiative.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Tom Keene: Treasurer and Executive Committee Member, Firefly Trail, Inc.
  • John Kissane: Trail Development Coordinator, Firefly Trail Inc.
  • Elliott Caldwell: Executive Director, Georgia Bikes
  • Brent Buice: South Carolina and Georgia Coordinator, East Coast Greenway

 

Funding Your Trail

Once you develop your great trail project and garner the necessary political support, how do you pay for it?  Representatives from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the PATH Foundation will discuss federal and state funding opportunities, while an expert from The Trust for Public Land’s Conservation Finance Team will explore the many ways that local governments can develop funding streams to build trails.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Lindsey Brown: Recreational Trails Program Coordinator, Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  • Pegeen Hanrahan: Southeast Conservation Finance Director, The Trust for Public Land
  • Jay Byars: County Councilman, Dorchester County SC

 

Enhancing Historic Trail Connectivity in the Southeast

This session will present an overview of four unique historical trails with a highly collaborative planning element. The presentation will include the recently completed Yadkin River Trail in Davidson County, NC; Trail Creek Greenway Connector, Athens-Clarke County, GA; City of Franklin Trail System, TN; and River Park in Rock Hill, SC. These historical trails were developed for tourists and the public to experience the historical importance of the area, to provide destinations, to reconnect people to riverfronts, and to attract economic activity in small and mid-sized communities.

PLA CEU-1 AICP CM-1.25

Speakers:

  • Jeff Ashbaugh, PLA: Senior Landscape Architect, Alfred Benesch & Company
  • Chris Phelps: Executive Director Tourism-Recreation Investment Partnership, Davidson County, NC
  • John Lavender, PLA: Senior Landscape Architect, Alfred Benesch & Company
  • Erik Hammarlund, PE: Senior Project Manager, Alfred Benesch & Company

 

Book your hotel now!

We look forward to seeing you all there! 

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