The Universal Trails and Outdoors for Everyone Panel Discussion and Workshop, held July 8-9-10 at the Five Valleys Land Trust Confluence Property at Rock Creek, offered abundant information for participants to ponder, to act upon, to motivate, and to bring home to serve and improve communities.
Five Valleys planned and implemented the workshop, with funding help from the Land Trust Alliance and the Montana Association of Land Trusts. The July 8 virtual panel, titled “Voices From the Community: Why Access, Equity, and Inclusion Matter,” provided insights into the significance of, challenges of – and value of – universal trails for people of all abilities in any community. The panel discussion was recorded and is available on the Five Valleys website.
The two-day trails workshop, with instruction provided by Larry Knutson of Penn Trails, carefully and thoroughly walked the workshop attendees through the process of designing, building, and maintaining universal all-access trails. Knutson is a national universal trails leader, and his book “Universal Access Trails and Shared Use Paths” is (to use one of his phrases) the gold standard of universal trails literature. Larry provided a wealth of information about trail design principles, trail sustainability, the function and integrity of trail tread and much, much, much more. The goal was for workshop participants to obtain information to take back home and put that information to work, and that goal was accomplished. MALT thanks Jenny Tollefson and the entire Five Valleys crew, and Land Trust Alliance Western Program for making the panel presentation and workshop possible. Everything about it was impressive.