First Delaware Trails Summit spotlights recreational trails issues

by Dave on October 14, 2010

DNREC’S Division of Parks and Recreation sponsored the first Delaware Trails Summit today in Rehoboth Beach. The summit marked the first time recreational trail groups, advocates and users came together statewide to learn about the progress made in creating a statewide network of trails, and to develop strategies for envisioning, planning, funding, designing, constructing, and managing recreational trails in Delaware.

“The need for recreational trails is greater and more relevant than ever, as tools to help us promote physical fitness, fight childhood obesity and provide transportation alternatives,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “Integrating trails into our communities – and as connections between communities – is a critical strategy to improve the livability of our state, increase recreational opportunities and connect Delawareans of all ages to the great outdoors.”

The Trails Summit offered a variety of educational sessions including understanding various trail users, harnessing volunteers for trail maintenance, the economic impact of trails, how to promote trails and more. It was designed to provide an opportunity for trail advocacy groups, trail builder and enthusiasts, lands planners, trail administrators and managers to explore new opportunities, issues and trends in recreational trail systems, programs, advocacy, planning, development and management. Participants also explored opportunities to establish a greater statewide trail network.

A special award was presented to U.S. Representative Michael Castle recognizing his dedication to creating a statewide network of trails in Delaware that began when he was the state’s Governor. More recently, Rep. Castle has promoted development of a 16-mile long trail connecting Delaware and Maryland along the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. The award was presented on behalf of Trail Summit participants, DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation and the Delaware Recreation and Parks Society.

The Delaware Recreation & Parks Society hosted the event with major sponsorship by Delaware State Parks, the Council on Greenways & Trails, the National Park Service, and Delaware businesses and organizations.

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