The University of Alabama

UA Center for Economic Development Co-Sponsors Trails Conference

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development, Alabama Trails Commission and Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs are sponsoring the second annual conference highlighting recreational trails in Alabama on Nov.1-2.

The event will feature many of the state’s top trail planners, designers and builders who will discuss the evolution of Alabama’s recreational trails and methods for making the state a premier destination for trail enthusiasts, whether they prefer peddling, paddling, throttling or trekking.

The two-day conference, “Dream, Plan, Build,” will be held at Jacksonville State University’s Huston Cole Library. The conference is also being sponsored by Jacksonville State University and the Cheaha Trail Riders Association.

“It is no accident that recreation trails are fast becoming a drawing card for Alabama and its communities,” said Jim Byard Jr., ADECA director. “The combination of cooperation, enthusiasm and community pride have shown to be the right formula for building some of the most challenging and rewarding trails anywhere, and much of that has been done with volunteers.”

The conference will feature a variety of sessions, workshops and panels covering topics such as volunteerism, trail promotion, economic benefits and funding opportunities. It will also include vendors and exhibits demonstrating the latest trends and equipment in outdoor adventures and trail development and maintenance. Additional vendors and sponsors are being sought.

“The conference will offer something for just about everyone who has an interest in trail planning, development and enjoyment of recreational trails of all types in Alabama,” said Nisa Miranda, director of the UA Center for Economic Development.

The cost of registration is $150 per participant and includes access to all programs and discussions, several meals and social and networking opportunities with those involved in trail development.

Jacksonville, Anniston and Calhoun County are home to the Pinhoti and Chief Ladiga trails, the acclaimed Coldwater Mountain  biking trail and several navigable streams and waterways.

The trails conference was initiated in 2011 by trail organizations, outdoor enthusiasts and state agencies, including ADECA.

ADECA administers the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Recreational Trails Program and annually allocates funding for building and maintaining trails and recreational areas in Alabama.

For registration and more information, go to www.landoftrails.com or call 334/242-5525.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.