But so far we don’t have a statewide advocacy group or coalition that ties all the loose threads together and speaks as one voice when it comes to raising awareness for projects or lobbying for funding and trail-friendly policies in Salem.
Not yet that is.
Travel Oregon has been aware of this shortcoming and commissioned a study last year that surveyed the current trails advocacy landscape. What started as a vision for a new group is now coming into focus with what’s being referred to as the Oregon Statewide Trails Coalition. The group hasn’t been officially launched, but it was named in a save-the-date notice released by organizers of a trails summit scheduled to happen on October 27th in Bend (one day before the Cross Crusade invades town).
Here’s more from a blurb in the most recent edition of Travel Oregon’s Bicycle Tourism Update newsletter:
The event is focused on bringing the Oregon trails community together to learn, build relationships and find solutions to the challenges in developing and maintaining a trails network that best serves local communities. Recreation, conservation and planning leaders are invited to attend, along with health professionals, policy makers and trail advocates. Join us for a day of networking and sharing best practices to shape the future of trails in Oregon.
Stephanie Noll is organizing the event and has been working on the creation of a group like this for over a year. Noll is the former deputy director of The Street Trust, a position she officially stepped down from this week as new ED Jillian Detweiler’s first day was Monday.
Noll says the upcoming summit will be an opportunity for trail advocates, land managers, tour guides, outdoor industry professionals, trails planners, volunteers, trail users and others to help plan the “nascent trails coalition” and build stronger connections and relationships.
Registration will open in the coming weeks. You can be the first to know by signing up for email updates using this form.
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