Now in its third year, the Georgia Trail Summit convenes in Carrollton on April 14, 15 and 16. The conference is open to everyone interested in creating a connected trail system across the state. Tanner Health System is the lead sponsor.
Carrollton was selected as the host city this year because the first 13 miles of its 16-mile Carrollton GreenBelt has emerged as a shining role model in Georgia for getting it right. Lessons learned by local leaders from Friends of the Carrollton GreenBelt will be offered in several sessions. Benefits of public-private partnerships and collaborating with PATH Foundation, elected officials and trail safety experts will be featured.
Alabama, Tennessee and Florida all have statewide agencies dedicated to trails. But Georgia does not. The keynote panel features trail coordinators from three neighboring states invited to share their experience and recommendations. They will help Georgia jumpstart its own trails clearinghouse to inventory and steward trail projects, and establish an alliance for trail groups statewide.
Georgia trails are increasingly popular in communities large and small. “Across the state, trails encourage healthy lifestyles; offer inexpensive, clean transportation choices; serve as economic development catalysts for increased tourism, property values and sales tax revenues and enhance quality of life for everyone,” remarks Tracie Sanchez, volunteer chair of the Georgia Trail Summit.
For instance, the Carrollton GreenBelt runs through the University of West Georgia campus and connects a public school to business districts. Tanner Health System is investing $35 million in a new healthcare center adjacent to the trail.
The Summit features 25 presentations from trail professionals in every discipline, and eight mobile workshops will get people outside on nearby water trails, cycling trails, mountain biking trails, parks and the Carrollton GreenBelt.
Early bird registration for the three-day conference is $85 before February 29 and includes several meals. On March 1, the fee is $100.
The Georgia Trail Summit is organized by a dedicated group of volunteer trailblazers committed to realizing a world-class, connected trail system in every corner of Georgia.
Sponsors include Tanner Health System, MillionMile Greenway, Carrollton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, KAIZEN Collaborative, Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Asheville Trails, Atlanta Trails, Georgia Bikes!, Georgia River Network, Georgia State University School of Public Health, Greenprints Alliance, Little Vine Vineyards, National Park Service, Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission, PATH Foundation, Perpetual Motion Bicycles, TRED, University West Georgia Transit and more to come.