ATLANTA – The Georgia Trail Summit is maturing. Now in its fourth year, the popular conference for Georgia’s trail community is moving under the new wing of a strong land conservation group.
Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land (STPAL), founded in 2011, will assume fiscal and administrative responsibilities for the Georgia Trail Summit (GTS), making it their signature annual event by providing a new home for its future success. The synergies between both groups will make each one stronger and even more effective. In the process, a full-time position was created for Trail Summit director Tracie Sanchez who previously chaired the event as a volunteer for the first three years. In her new role as director of community engagement and outreach for STPAL, her time will be divided between planning and implementing the Georgia Trail Summit, her top priority, and increasing awareness for STPAL’s innovative work creating public parks, conserving natural land, and encouraging environmental education.
“As a proven leader in Georgia’s trail community, Tracie’s skills are an ideal fit to enhance STPAL’s mission while continuing to build valuable partnerships as we strengthen and grow the Georgia Trail Summit,” explains Bill Jones, executive director of STPAL and founding member of the Georgia Trail Summit. “Our work at STPAL dovetails beautifully with the vision of the Trail Summit.” Their goal is to encourage a connected trail network in every corner of the state. Jones adds, “Many of STPAL’s properties are ideal for both linear parks and trail networks which complement and accelerate the Trail Summit’s mission.”
The 2017 Georgia Trail Summit is set for April 20-22 in Columbus, site of the longest urban whitewater course in the world and other trail-friendly projects. The 2017 Summit’s theme is Plan. Fund. Build. Manage.
About the Georgia Trail Summit: The Summit attracts about 200 people every spring for an informative, three-day event featuring outstanding speakers, mobile workshops highlighting the host city’s trails, and networking parties. Their vision is to help groups build a connected, statewide trail system in every corner of the state bolstered by collaboration, sharing resources and knowledge.
Previously, MillionMile Greenway served as the 501 c3 umbrella organization for the Georgia Trail Summit and donated the initial seed money to launch the first one in 2014. “It’s terrific to see this Summit blossom from an all-volunteer effort, funded by sponsors like MillionMile Greenway, to evolve into a STPAL project with a budget and long-range plan,” says Jim Langford, president of MillionMile Greenway and founding member of the Georgia Trail Summit. Sponsorships from companies, government agencies and trail-related nonprofits will continue to be an essential revenue source for the Georgia Trail Summit.