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A different conversation for trails in Illinois

The public release of Making Trails Count in Illinois is tomorrow, March 30, when the download link goes live at http://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.

Steve Buchtel, Executive Director
708/365-9365
steve@trailsforillinois.org 

The Righteous Path
Six 3-6 minute videos from Trails for Illinois’ presentation at the Central Illinois Bike Summit. To positively impact local economies, our environment, our quality of life, the trails we design, build and maintain must transcend the recreational use category. We must build Righteous Paths.

Donate to Trails for Illinois
Trails for Illinois is working hard to teach Illinois the promise of trails’ Triple Bottom Line. It’s a big state, and we could use your help! Please make a donation now to fuel our campaign.

I had the great honor of speaking at the Central Illinois Bike Summit in beautiful Normal, Illinois last Wednesday. I did my best to bring down some truth about the Triple Bottom Line of trails to a full hotel conference room, maybe 150 mayors, planners, engineers, trail & bicycle advocates—including some of my personal heroes in each of those categories. The message was well received—I got some Amens!—and I’m grateful to League of Illinois Bicyclists' Gina Kenny for sitting in front and filming the whole thing.

Like every new presentation I’ve done, this feels like the trial run for the next one. And Lo!, an invitation has come to pass. An attendee in Normal has invited me to present at the Illinois American Planning Association state conference in Champaign-Urbana this fall. But I have room for more. If the Righteous Path is something you want folks to hear, invite me out.

Central Illinois Bike Summit Reveals the Righteous Path
From the session description for my presentation at the Central Illinois Bike Summit in Normal, Ill. on May 23, 2012—
“The Triple Bottom Line adds two equally weighted considerations—environmental impact and quality of life gains—to our usual way of valuing public and private investments, financial profit.
"Your trail, unlike many other public investments such as highways and airports, can deliver a Triple Bottom Line…but you have to avoid the Seven Deadly Trail Sins that lurk along the way. 
In this session, you’ll learn how to use the Triple Bottom LIne to plan, design and sell your project, and how to resist temptation and build a righteous path. PLUS…this session reveals the Secret Bottom Line to the Triple Bottom Line!”
Ooo, the anticipation! Also on the schedule: Andy Clark, director of League of American Bicyclists, on Bicycle Friendly Communities, Ed Barsotti from League of Illinois Bicyclists on Bike Planning 101, Jeff Sunderlin from YMCA USA on turning around the rise of inactivity-related chronic disease . Don’t miss it—get your registration form.

Central Illinois Bike Summit Reveals the Righteous Path

From the session description for my presentation at the Central Illinois Bike Summit in Normal, Ill. on May 23, 2012—

The Triple Bottom Line adds two equally weighted considerations—environmental impact and quality of life gains—to our usual way of valuing public and private investments, financial profit.

"Your trail, unlike many other public investments such as highways and airports, can deliver a Triple Bottom Line…but you have to avoid the Seven Deadly Trail Sins that lurk along the way.

In this session, you’ll learn how to use the Triple Bottom LIne to plan, design and sell your project, and how to resist temptation and build a righteous path. PLUS…this session reveals the Secret Bottom Line to the Triple Bottom Line!

Ooo, the anticipation! Also on the schedule: Andy Clark, director of League of American Bicyclists, on Bicycle Friendly Communities, Ed Barsotti from League of Illinois Bicyclists on Bike Planning 101, Jeff Sunderlin from YMCA USA on turning around the rise of inactivity-related chronic disease . Don’t miss it—get your registration form.

Chicago’s Field Museum just posted: “Steve Buchtel Wows Crowd at Chicago Southland Green Drinks.”

For our first public speaking gig as Trails for Illinois, we have to say that’s a great headline! 

Your takeaway: invite me out to speak to your group. We are ready.