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Statewide Trail Summit
Tickets & Add-Ons

Tuesday, January 29 | 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Held during the annual mParks Conference & Trade Show, the Michigan Trail Summit is an opportunity for trail enthusiasts, advocates, and organizations to gain knowledge and networking through a day of informative sessions, with topics emerging technology, water trails, volunteer engagement and trails as multi-modal connectors within a transportation system, plus opportunity connections. Also covered in the Trail Summit will be the Great Lake to Lake Trails and the changing political environment of trails.


Full Delegate Add-on $85
Member $120
Non-Member $145




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Statewide Trail Summit Agenda

8:15 am – 9:00 am - Keynote

Pure Michigan Trail Towns

Dave Lorenz – Vice President, Pure Michigan

9:15 am – 10:30 am – Breakout Sessions

Putting Partnerships to Work – Growing Your Volunteer Base

Expanding your organization’s reach beyond its existing volunteer base is not easy, but not impossible. This session will explore various partnership opportunities for developing your volunteer network.

           Lauren Ross - Trail Ambassador Program Coordinator, Friends of the Lansing Regional Trails

 Kenny Wawsczyk- MI Trail Coordinator, North Country Trail Association

Water Trails - Riding the Wave

This session will recap what's new in water trails in 2018, including how to put on large paddling events, how to fund water trail development and the states new water trail designation program.

Harry Burkholder - Water Trails - Riding the Wave, LIAA

Michael Morrison - State Water Trails Coordinator, DNR

Deana Jerdee - Executive Director, Paddle Antrim

 Marcy Hamilton -Deputy Executive Director/Senior Planner, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission


An e-bike is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor which can be used for propulsion. Many kinds of e-bikes are available worldwide, from e-bikes that only have a small motor to assist the rider's pedal-power to somewhat more powerful e-bikes which tend closer to moped-style functionality: all, however, retain the ability to be pedalled by the rider and are therefore not electric motorcycles. This session will explore the use, operation and regulations surrounding e-bikes in Michigan.

Nicole Toman - Regulatory Unit Manager, Michigan DNR

10:45 am – 12:00 pm – Breakout Sessions

Legislative Panel

This session will take you through the recent legislative proposals to increase funding for trails and provide insights into how current and former legislative leaders regard Trails as a legislative issue.

Bob Wilson – Executive Director, Michigan Trails

 Andrea LaFontaine - Trail Ambassador Great Lake to Lake Trail, Michigan Trails

 Judy Emmons, Former State Senator

 Arlan Meekhoff, Former State Senator

 Goeff Hansen, Former State Senator

 Cara Clemente, State Represenative

Successful Trail Maintenance Programs in Michigan

Learn how three trail programs in Michigan approach and fund short- and long-term trail maintenance. Hear about their partnerships, what works, and what they would like to improve. Discussing their programs is Josh Gower with Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, Anne Engvall with the Musketawa Trail, and Bart Heil and John Schmude with the Midland area trails.

Josh Gower - Fair & Trail Program Coordinator, Kalamazoo County Parks

Bart Heil - Park Supervisor, City of Midland Parks & Recreation                 

John Schmude - Parks Director, Midland County Parks & Recreation          

Anne Engvall - Park Supervisor, Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Show Me the Money 2.0 and Help Me to Help You

Come learn about how the federally-funded Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) is used to fund facilities for a whole host of non-motorized transportation uses. This informative session will also discuss using other sources of funding with TAP (such as the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund) and what to consider when applying for, and using, these funds. In addition, the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail (KRVT) will be featured in this session. This will include a brief history of how the KRVT was conceived, planned and the innovative ways in which this 20-plus mile (and growing) trail system was developed in Kalamazoo County.

Matt Wiitala - Grant Coordinator, Michigan Department of Transportation

David Rachowicz - Director, Kalamazoo County Parks and Expo Center

Toni Thompson - President, Kalamazoo County Parks Foundation

Erin Campbell - Grant Coordinator, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm – Lunch & Keynote

GAP Trail

Doug Riegner is the Director of Community Relations of the Allegheny Trail Alliance, the coalition of trail organizations charged with promoting and enhancing the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-trail system between Cumberland MD and Pittsburgh PA. During the off season Doug works to publish TrailGuide, an authorized publication of both the “GAP trail and 184.5- mile C&O Canal Towpath.” Through his work with TrailGuide Doug uncovers, develops, and maintains healthy relationships with local communities & leaders, visitor bureaus, and trail related businesses along the 335-mile corridor.

Doug Rienger – Director of Community Relations, Sales, Marketing, and Social Media, Allegheny Trail Alliance

1:15 pm – 2:30 pm – Breakout Sessions

Trail Tech: Connecting Communities and Information Resources

Throughout Michigan, technology is changing the way we interact with trails. New and improved data management systems are helping to streamline the ways trails are planned and managed, and emerging applications are connecting trail resources to the people who use them. This session will include a series of presentations about the technology behind wide-reaching trail initiatives, including an update on the DNR's statewide trail data with maps, apps and statistics; How SEMCOG is using 360 degree imagery to connect people to the Southeast Michigan's hiking, biking, and paddling trails; and NEMCOG's work with communities across Northern Michigan to promote more than 5,000 miles of "Up North Trails."

Tyler Klifman - Planner, SEMCOG

Steve Schnell, AICP - Community Development Senior Planner, NEMCOG

Kim Kennedy - Trail GIS Specialist, MDNR

Leveraging Marquette's Trails for Economic Development and Placemaking

Learn how the Marquette’s trails put the region on the map and trail tourism is an economic driving force. This session will cover the importance of making sure your trails are ready to market and how to do it.

Navigate Winter trail user conflict and what it takes to groom multiuse Singletrack in the winter. How did fatbiking effected the economy in Marquette County and Nationwide  (tourism, bike shops, small businesses, shoulder season)? Review the Marquette County case studies on fatbiking and learn how to bring fatbike trails to your community.

Candy Kozeluh - Aaron Peterson Studios

Aaron Peterson -Aaron Peterson Studios

Great Lake to Lake Trails

Overview of the 5 Great Lake to Lake destination trails. The last three decades in Michigan’s trail movement have been about securing individual trails of all types: abandoned rail, utility corridors, road rights of way, and more. Today, Michigan can extend these trails east and west to reach from one Great Lake to another, weaving in many communities and tourism attractions along the way. Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance has identified 5 Great Lake to Lake Trail routes across the state.

Bob Wilson - Executive Director, Michigan Trails

Andrea LaFontaine - Trail Ambassador Great Lake to Lake Trail, Michigan Trails

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm – Breakout Sessions

E-What? Electronic micro mobility devices and your community. What’s coming

The way people are moving about is changing! With the advent of powerful yet small batteries and motors, and their integration into devices like bicycles and scooters, we now have new ways to move about our communities. However, it’s been difficult for local regulations to keep up with the pace of transportation change. This session will highlight how two communities have approached these new devices. One approach - conservative and cautious. Another approach – respond quickly and embrace new mobility options. Closing out the session, those in attendance will hear about the efforts taking place at the state level to address legislation that is ambiguous or unclear regarding these new forms of electronic micro-mobility.

Kristin Bennett - Transportation Planning/Programs Supervisor, City of Grand Rapids

Justin Snowden - Smart Mobility Strategist, City of Detroit, Office of Mobility Innovation

Dusty Fancher - Partner, Midwest Strategy Group

DNR State Tails Update

This session will tprovide an overview of current topics regarding the statewide trail program in Michigan and all the related components.

Paul Yauk - State Trail Coordinator, Michigan DNR

Ron yesney - UP Trail cioordinator, Michigan DNR

You’ve Got Your Trail Millage….Now What?

With trails and parks becoming ever more important in our changing and shifting society, county millages can enhance already available funding opportunities and provide for county wide improvements. This session will highlight the different stages of a parks and trails millage, from the passing of the millage, to the planning and implementation process and coming full circle back to millage renewal.

Melissa Buzzard - Trails and Parks Millage Program Coordinator, Ingham County Parks

 Kyle Lewis - Manager of Parks Facilities and Events, Jackson County Parks & Recreation

 Jeff Hovarter - Director, Jackson County Parks & Recreation






Trail Summit Sponsorship - $500

The Trail Summit attracts more than 150 trail enthusiasts, advocates and managers. Benefits of sponsorship include:

  • Clickable logo included on sponsor page at
  • Clickable logo included on and registration page
  • Clickable logo included in all Trail Summit promotional materials and emails
  • Logo included in mParks Conference Brochure given to all Conference attendees
  • Logo included in Trail Summit Agenda and other materials
  • Verbal recognition during the Trail Summit
  • Logo included on all room signage and food tables during Trail Summit
  • Social media mentions leading up to the Trail Summit

Call the mParks office to learn more, 517.485.9888.