Beyond the Trail Videos

A Unique Approach to Recreation and Outfitting Along the Schuylkill River

2021
The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area (SRG) has been delivering successful outdoor recreation and education programs on the Schuylkill River and the Schuylkill River Trail for decades. Paddling, hiking, biking and youth engagement programs have been some of the hallmarks in conveying the organization’s mission to residents, communities, and visitors. One of the main ingredients needed to make these programs and events happen is a viable local outfitter to partner with to support the recreational components. While outdoor recreation has blossomed in the region over the last decade, the river and trail corridor has not seen recreation focused outfitters succeed at the same rate. Over the years, outfitters along the Schuylkill have experienced varying degrees of success in gaining a foothold and maintaining stability. Although outfitters have existed for decades on adjacent waterways like the Lehigh and Delaware, the Schuylkill has not been as fortunate. In 2020, in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, SRG’s most reliable recreational partner closed its doors. Left with very few options and in need of support for annual events and programs, the SRG embarked on a project to establish a new unique partnership that would not only support and benefit our programming, but also the broader community and region as well as other partners along the Schuylkill. During this presentation participants will hear how SRG leveraged an existing partnership and used a little creativity to create a regional, multi-focused outfitter. This session will look at the formation of Take It Outdoors, LLC, a non profit outfitter and how the collaboration between the two organizations is expanding the SRG’s capacity for recreational programming and its reach to diverse populations and new constituents locally and beyond.
Last Modified
May 07, 2024
Viewed
45 times

Beyond the Footpath: Landscape Conservation Along the Appalachian Trail

2021
Originally published in the October 1921 edition of the Journal of the American Institute of Architects, Benton MacKaye’s groundbreaking article inspired the creation of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). The iconic Appalachian Trail was originally conceptualized as a mega greenway that would serve as a wilderness and escape from modern living and stress. Every year, millions set foot on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), whether for an afternoon stroll or a thru-hike from Maine to Georgia. But if you were to ask visitors the parts of their hikes that they remember the most, the footpath itself is not likely the main thing people will mention. Instead, they will explain how breathtaking the views are from the summits, or the times they saw a moose or deer and listened to songbirds. They will talk about the communities they stopped in along the way, providing a sense of each community’s unique character. And they will mention the brightness of the stars at night, and the time where the only sound was the breath of the wind through the leaves. One of the most important aspects of protecting this realm is landscape conservation. This work ensures healthy ecosystems, protects the habitats of native plants and animals, as well as vital natural resources such as clean drinking water, and provides tourism dollars and support for Trailside communities. Now that the majority of the footpath is secured and well-managed, MacKaye’s vision continues to inspire and guide the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as it evolves and deploys landscape conservation work to ensure the A.T. and its surrounding landscape are protected forever for all to enjoy. Returning to the original concept is leading the ATC to secure the future of the corridor as a greenway that supports: natural beauty, climate resiliency, the hiker experience, strengthened shared stewardship, and engaging new people and partners. Learn how these new goals are taking shape in conservation landscapes across Pennsylvania.
Last Modified
May 07, 2024
Viewed
36 times

The Art of Leveraging: Creating a Rural Development Hub

2021
Everyone wants a local trail, but trails are not a commodity that you can buy on Amazon and have it delivered to the local corridor. Our local trails are “Made in America” by Americans and support the American economy. Trail projects start with someone developing a dream and conveying the dream to others. This session will show techniques and examples that transformed trail dreams into reality by leveraging what organizations and communities had into what they needed. This session will also describe the obstacles and hardships that needed to be conquered to obtain the dream. Current real-life projects in Northwestern Pennsylvania will be illustrated and used to stimulate conversations and audience participation.
Last Modified
May 07, 2024
Viewed
35 times

The Past, Present, and Future of Trail Towns

2021
Pennsylvania could be considered the “home state” of Trail Towns. The model was first imagined and implemented along the Great Allegheny Passage before being adapted throughout the U.S. and Canada. This session will share the history of Trail Towns and how it has been modified for use in other places. Particular attention will also be given to the best practices, which range from understanding your market to sharing your community’s story and extending a welcoming invitation to your trail and town.
Last Modified
May 07, 2024
Viewed
35 times

The Transformation From Water Trail Manager to Managing, Marketing, and Maintaining

2021
French Creek Valley Conservancy hadn’t put much focus on French Creek as a water trail. Executive Director Brenda Costa attended a PEC Water Trail Managers meeting in 2019 and was inspired to do better. FCVC began a focused effort on managing and marketing the French Creek Water Trail. FCVC secured a number of grants to cover reprinting of water trail maps that are available to the public for free, and revamped our website to highlight French Creek as a water trail, including an interactive story map of launch locations. We also utilized grant funds to install educational panels at five launches highlighting sub basins in the watershed (an education goal of ours) and the unique biodiversity of French Creek.
Last Modified
May 07, 2024
Viewed
36 times

Trails: How the Built Environment Impacts Community Health

2021
The Blue Zones Project is a community well-being improvement initiative focused on creating sustainable changes that help make the healthy choice the easy choice. Based on research by Dan Buettner, the community model’s work focuses on People, Places, and Policy to create an optimal environment for positive change, helping people live longer, better.
Last Modified
May 07, 2024
Viewed
37 times