Two hundred thousand ice cream cones: Palos Heights, Illinois parks & recreation director Mike Leonard shares how Making Trails Count in Illinois will help him make the case for economic development along the Cal-Sag Trail.
Hot off the press: the beautiful, bound Making Trails Count in Illinois report. Very limited print run. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org about getting a copy, or download the PDF at http://trailsforillinois.org/maketrailscount
I had a great walkabout Springfield with retired IDNR Trails & Greenways guy Dick Westfall, who is a brilliant trails thinker and takes a good photo to boot. Then lunch with Dick, IDNR landscape architect & trails planner George Bellovics, and Illinois Route 66’s Bill Kelly.
The topic: tourism’s roll in improving trails in Illinois. Making Trails Count in Illinois shows the impact that the trails we studied have on Illinois tourism, and that they could benefit from tourism’s expertise about serving visitors.
Super smart guys, a good lunch, plus a bonus takeaway: George’s advice that to build a trail, “One must build the trail in the minds of the people along the way.”
The public release of Making Trails Count in Illinois is tomorrow, March 30, when the download link goes live athttp://trailsforillinois.org/maketrailscount. There’s a very limited number of print copies available; contact me if you’d like one. Release day is also Opening Day for Trails for our partner Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. RTC staff will be attending special events on trails nationwide tomorrow; look for RTC’s Dan Persky on the Illinois Prairie Path. Opening Day and Making Trails Count in Illinois both kick off a weeklong focus on trails, walking and biking’s health benefits by the Partnership for Active Transportation during National Public Health Week. We’re so proud of Making Trails Count’s contribution to that effort. And over the next month, you’ll find Trails for Illinois presenting Making Trails Count at the International Trails Symposium, April 14-17 in Phoenix, AZ; for the keynote at Friends of the Pumpkinvine Trail’s annual luncheon on April 25 in Goshen, IN; at the Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation in Homewood, IL on April 26; and—this just in—for the keynote at the Illinois Bike Summit in Normal, IL, May 15. We set out to have a different conversation with Illinois about trails and their role in improving our communities and our lives and even the way we view our state. With Making Trails Count in Illinois, I feel like the conversation has begun. Reader, I want you to think right now about joining us at Trails for Illinois. This organization has had a long, quiet history that closes today. As the profile of trails in Illinois rises, so our numbers must rise to turn the changing perspective on trails into action. Will you please consider joining us, here at the beginning of a new trails movement in Illinois? You can click here; it’s simple and secure. We are grateful for the weeks to come. May your home be your trailhead.
Monday, April 1 is the last day your organization can join Trails for Illinois in signing on to the Partnership for Active Transportation’s letter to Governor Quinn. The letter asks the Governor to take advantage of the flexible funding options in the new federal transportation bill to prioritize trails, biking and walking facilities that provide safe, healthy, active options to get outside and move, under Illinoisans’ own power. Read the letter here.
Spearheaded by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the Partnership for Active Transportation is a national campaign to build opportunities for physical activity into the transportation planning and projects of the 21st century. Please read the letter and consider signing!
Responses from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago are saying that they’ll work on signing a detour soon for the closed Centennial Trail. But the detour options will take more than signs. We walked the detour routes on the east end to the I&M Canal Trail today and took pictures. Oy!
AND…the trail isn’t closed for work on the Sanitary & Ship Canal. It’s closed because the District needed a convenient place to dump earth removed from the McCook Reservoir a few miles away. Not very respectful of the tax dollars invested to build the Centennial Trail. The MWRD can be better than this.
I'm Steve Buchtel, the new Executive Director of Trails for Illinois. From 2001 to summer 2011, we were the Illinois Trails Conservancy.
I'm embarking upon an adventure: building a statewide trails community that will integrate trails and trail experiences into Illinois work, play, life.
This tumblr blog is just the start of community building TforI—hey, we got a nickname!—will do. It'll be our journal as we figure out our website, our membership, and fundraising, and a place to post trail news, issues and thoughts.