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.
- Conference program
- Keynote speakers
- Field sessions
- Pre & Post Conference Tours
- Conference exhibitors
- Student & Youth Corps volunteers
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 Transportation – Learn 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.
Transportation planner and author of JoyRide, Mia 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.
On 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.
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 Creek Trail – Red Tail Reach Restoration Project
Field Session #1 – Friday, Oct 16 – 9:30am – 11:30am
- Along the Interurban Trail – Arroyo Park to Woodstock Farm Field Session #2 – Friday, Oct 16 – 2pm – 4pm
- Taylor Dock to Boulevard Park – South Bay Trail System
Field Session #3 – Saturday, October 17 – 9:30am – 11:30am
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
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.