By Kaitie Eddington
UVTA Staff has had an adventurous year of conferences, presentations, forums, discussion panels and more!
After 20 years of providing quality trail services and programs to the Upper Valley, UVTA is ecstatic to be recognized as an essential organization by being selected for these presentations. These events give us an opportunity to share our work and discuss our passion for outdoor recreation and trails.
UVTA’s Program Manager, Kaitie Eddington, presented at the Saving Special Places conference alongside Hanover Conservancy’s Courtney Dragiff, on April 6th in Alton, NH and again at the Children and Nature Network international conference in Oakland, CA on May 18th. Their presentation touched on key elements when creating the HC’s Hanover Trails Challenge and UVTA’s Passport to Winter Fun program. Both programs designed with the same goal: to keep children outdoors and physically active.
UVTA’s Development Director, Randy Richardson, and Trail Programs Director, Sean Ogle, lead the Newbury Trails Forum on April 24th in Newbury, NH. The Newbury Conservation Commission opened the forum up to anyone in the town giving residents an opportunity to talk about town trails with UVTA’s trail professionals while laying the foundation to further develop and promote trails/outdoor recreation in Newbury.
Russell Hirschler, UVTA’s Executive Director, presented Trail Finder at the International Trails Symposium alongside Lelia Mellen on April 30th in Syracuse, NY and again at the Connecticut Trails Symposium on October 29th in Hartford, CT with CCGIS.
Randy served as a panelist in the Dartmouth Social Impact Practicums (SIP) Panel on May 7th. The panel discussed the value of SIP and community partnerships by examining a project that Dartmouth students did in partnership with UVTA in Spring of 2017. In an area that advocates for land conservation and protection, the ongoing development and improvement of trails can be challenging – Dartmouth students analyzed the pros and cons of trail development by being heavily involved in the early process of developing the Trescott Trails in Hanover, NH: a conserved parcel of land that was beginning to develop into a more formal trail network. This project helped UVTA in numerous ways and provided a unique perspective to the SIP panel. Read more about the project here: https://journeys.dartmouth.edu/anthropology65/
All in all, we are thankful for the opportunities to travel, meet new people and talk about the exciting programs and projects we have been working on at UVTA!