Trail Towns Conference Scheduled for Hurleyville
Recreational and Economic Benefits of Trails in our Communities
LIBERTY, April 2022 — What is the key to a successful trail town? Come find out! Sullivan Renaissance and the Sullivan O&W Rail Trail Alliance will present the Trail Towns Conference on Thursday April 7 and Friday April 8. The conference will include a keynote and discussion with David Kahley, Co-founder, President and CEO of The Progress Fund, a nonprofit that founded the Trail Town Program, the first economic development program in the nation to capture the potential of rail-trail based recreation.
The Trail Town program can help municipalities and local businesses make the most of the outdoor recreational assets near them. Mr. Kahley will draw examples from the Great Alleghany Passage a 150-mile rail trail in Pennsylvania and how dozens of communities benefit from increased visitation and visitor spending; and business growth and development.
Each day will focus on different aspects of trails and the towns that support them along with some on location activities. Thursday evening at 5:30pm will be the “big picture;” the basics of the program and easily achieved projects our businesses and communities can complete to start benefitting from existing sections of Sullivan O&W Rail Trail. Friday morning at 8:30am will offer an overview and delve deeper into how the Trail Towns program works and fosters larger and longer-term projects and goals.
“Trails provide an array of proven benefits, said Sullivan County Planning Commissioner Freda Eisenberg. “They serves as a source of recreation and transportation for residents and they also strengthen our tourism-based economy.” Not on the Sullivan O&W Rail Trail? The Trail Towns program offers strategies for community revitalization applicable to all Sullivan County communities that can capitalize on our outdoor recreational resources.”
“Volunteers have been active building, clearing and enhancing our trails for decades. We are at a point now where it is all coming together for everyone to enjoy,” said Denise Frangipane, Executive Director for Sullivan Renaissance.
Thursday’s conference begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Michael Ritchie Big Barn, 54 Discovery Ridge Road in Hurleyville. The Friday event starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Mamakating Town Hall, 2948 Route 209 in Wurtsboro.
The Trail Towns Conference is presented with support from Catskills Agrihood, Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association and the County of Sullivan. The Conference continues a series of events to connect the community with the Sullivan O&W and other trails throughout the county. The conference is free but registration is requested at www.sullivanrenaissance.org.