WeConservePA thanks everyone who made the 2021 Pennsylvania Greenways & Trails Summit a success. Over the course of three days, September 19-21, we welcomed over 190 participants, including trail managers, parks & recreation professionals, state agency staff, trail stewards, volunteers, and enthusiasts. Thirty-seven individual workshops and four mobile seminars provided over 50 hours of training spanning a variety of trail topics ranging from trail planning to expanding access.
Attendees rated the summit a 4.6 on a 1-5 scale (5 being the best).
The continuing COVID 19 pandemic and concern for health and safety kept the planning team on their toes and required flexibility. Thankfully, the weather in Erie cooperated, allowing us to take full advantage of the outdoor spaces throughout the Bayfront Convention Center and Erie at large. A team of AV experts allowed presenters located in other states, as well as those facing travel and meeting restrictions, to participate virtually.
The welcome reception was held on Sunday, September 19 at the Bayfront Maritime Center (BMC). We are grateful to Rich Eisenburg, executive director of the BMC who provided an overview of services to the community, as well as a tour of the Schooner Porcupine project for attendees. This casual evening event was rounded out with music by local Erie musician, Brooke Surgener and catering from Dinner is Served by Lisa Personal Chef & Catering Services.
“First time attendee you set a very high bar for the next one.Great location facilities and topics with knowledge presenters!”
Plenary & Keynote
Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper kicked off the Monday morning plenary and was followed by DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal transportation, Jennie Louwerse, AICP.
Patuxent Riverkeeper, Fred Tutman provided our keynote address, A Journey of Activism, Environmental Justice, Diversity and Sustainability.
“Thanks for a great conference and again for inviting Fred Truman to share his story as plenary speaker. Too often we’re called to action, talked at, and reminded of what’s wrong with the world. Fred was like a breath of fresh air. He was open and honest and gave us the ok to celebrate our own inspirations. He walked away from seemingly lucrative career paths to walk alongside conservationists and environmentalists. As an African American attorney seeking to protect and improve the health of our world, he is keenly aware how few African American environmentalists there are and hoped we all continue to approach our challenges and our dreams with the same never give up and never get down attitude.”
Planning Time Awarded
WeConservePA and the planning committee for the Greenways and Trails Summit thank Pashek +MTR, Landscape Architects and Community Planners for their generous donation of $1,000 in trail design consultation. Congratulations to Chester B. Scholl, Jr. (Barney) who was selected to receive these services at the prize drawing held during lunch on September 21.
“This was an excellent opportunity to network with folks doing what our group is doing, as well as with the folks from the various agencies that can guide us and provide / help us get funding. This was our first time attending, and we will be back!”