2014 Conference

WSTC-Conference-logo“On the Trails of Change”
2014 Washington State Trails Conference

October 16-18, 2014
Lakeway Inn & Conference Center, Bellingham, WA

On October 16-18, 2014, WSTC presented “On the Trails of Change”, the biennial Washington State Trails Conference.  Check out the 2014 Conference Highlights for an overview of the proceedings.

Set in Bellingham and hosted by the Whatcom Parks and Recreation Foundation, the conference brought together hundreds of trail leaders from across the state and beyond.  The Washington State Trails Conference was made possible with the support of our presenting sponsor, Green Trails Maps.  In addition, Parametrix and REI proudly support the conference.

Registration ended October 10th at 4 p.m.

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Conference program
With 30 breakout sessions featuring trail leaders from across the state,  you won’t want to miss this year’s conference!  “On the Trails of Change” will pay special attention to how trail organizations  and agencies in both urban and rural settings are adjusting to changing conditions.  The conference will also emphasize the role of emerging leaders and young adults in the planning, maintenance and management of trails in our state.   Extended Program with presentation descriptions (updated October 10)

The conference offers breakout sessions following five themed tracks:

1.   Changing Terrain for Trail Management – Tactics and success stories for adapting to changing conditions: demographics, demand, regulations, access controversies and user conflicts.
2.  Adaptive Solutions for Shrinking Budgets – Case studies and presentations focused on innovative ways to address funding and staffing shortfalls including partnerships, user fees and volunteer programs.
3.  Trails for Transforming Communities – Demonstrating the social value of trails in your community, with an emphasis on health benefits, recreation, active transportation and tourism.
4. Trails for Active TransportationLearn how communities are advancing trails as a viable solution to transportation challenges.
5. The Trail Showcase – Explore some of Washington’s most innovative and exciting new trail projects.

Keynote Speakers

mia_sharrowTransportation planner and author of JoyRideMia Birk, presents “12 Steps to Successful Trail Implementation” during Friday’s keynote address.  While 7-10% of Portland residents ride bikes for daily transportation, it wasn’t always that way.  Mia will share the dramatic story of one city’s successful transition to an active transportation culture that incorporates trails into the everyday lives of Portland residents.

bob-birkbyOn Saturday, international trail maintenance guru Robert Birkby presents “The Trail to Siberia”, an introduction to his intriguing work to bring trails and recreation planning to a wild, previously undeveloped territory in Russia. Author of the trail builder’s bible Lightly on the Land, Robert brings many years of experience and an unprecedented passion for backcountry trail maintenance.

Field sessions
Conference participants are invited to get out and experience Bellingham’s finest trails and participate in any of the three field sessions during the conference hosted by Bellingham Parks and Recreation.

Whatcom Falls, within 15-minute walk from the conference. Photo by Ken Haufle.
Whatcom Falls, within 15-minute walk of the conference. Photo by Ken Haufle.

Pre & Post Conference Tours: Experience Whatcom County

Whatcom County’s trail community is proud to offer several tours and events immediately before and after the trails conference.  As these events are not an official component of the WSTC conference, registration is handled by the hosting organizations.  Learn more about the following offerings:

Pre-Conference Tours, Thursday, October 16th
Tour Galbraith Mountain by Mountain Bike
Hosted by Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition

Explore Tennant Lake Boardwalk Hosted by Whatcom Parks and Recreation Department

Post-Conference Tours, Sunday, October 19th
Tour Stimpson Family Nature Reserve
Hosted by Whatcom Parks and Recreation Department

Tour of Blanchard Mountain by Horse or Mule
Hosted by Back Country Horsemen of Whatcom County

The 2014 WSTC Conference will take place under the watchful eye of Koma Kulshan, aka Mt. Baker. Image: Wikipedia.

Student & Youth Corps Volunteers

WSTC invites recent or currently-enrolled students and youth corps members to participate in the conference  In exchange for volunteer service during the conference, we will offer a discounted rate to those eligible.  Learn more about our Youth Ambassador Program.

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