Happy New Year from the Connecticut Trail Census as we plan for this THIRD data collection year! In the 3+ years since the program inception, the goal has remained to make a real impact on the state’s multi-use trail systems. With funding applications completed and submitted, planning continues on proposed program improvements in hopes of good news!
On that regard, we are excited to share that we are hoping to be able to provide more support to our volunteer participants in their efforts to complete the program requirements and utilize the program to its full potential. In order to ensure we make the absolute best use of some new and improved program resources as well as maximize its impact and effectiveness, we are re-evaluating program ‘Trail Sites’, or where the infrared (IR) pedestrian counters are installed and an ‘application’ is required from both currently participating Trail Sites and proposed new Trail Sites. Application will take 5-10 minutes to complete and is due no later that Sunday, January 13, 2019.
Come mingle with CTTC staff, participants & supporters at the 3rd annual CT Trails Symposium where we will be learning and participating in discussions about efforts in the state integrating trails into the community and vice versa! Sessions will cover the physical connecting of trail systems as well as ensuring that entire diverse communities are able, educated and excited to utilize these trail systems to their full potential. Register Online Here.
Governor’s Greenways Council Presents: 3rd Annual CT Trails Symposium Thursday October 25th. 9 am – 3 pm Goodwin College’s East Hartford campus River Room (195 Riverside Drive)
Trails have become a new type of Town Green, a place where all members of our communities can gather, recreate, relax and even commute or travel together. Experts will offer sessions designed to be interactive, so come prepared with your specific questions or concerns. By the end of the Symposium you will have learned how to integrate trail users and get your community more involved with and utilizing your trail systems on many levels.
The keynote speaker is Shalin Desai, a member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Board of Directors. Desai will speak about the ATC’s and his personal experience with the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) population and he will share diversity, equity and inclusion strategies we can all deploy. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world, measuring roughly 2,190 miles in length. The Trail was completed in 1937 and travels through fourteen states. Over 3 million visitors walk a portion of the Trail each year. The population of the trail corridor, its visitors and volunteers is changing. The keynote will consider how the ATC is adapting to and supporting these changes.
Other sessions will include discussions on: Providing accessibility information to trail users; What managed motorized recreation is, who participates and its financial and community impacts; Kingdom Trails of Vermont will share their experiences for building a healthy community and sustaining a healthy economy; What are social determinants of health and how do they relate to greenways; The importance of connected greenways and bicycle routes in urban communities; and more!
Registrants are invited to stay after the event to attend the Goodwin College Trails Grand Opening, beginning at 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Pavillion at the South Meadows Greenway. Bus transportation will be provided to and from the event. Please email email@example.com if you are planning to attend the Grand Opening.
The CTTC team is happy to announce that all Trail Site Coordinators (TSCs) have been trained in the program updates that were developed using lessons learned from the pilot year! This means that the 2nd data collection season is underway! Things to keep in mind:
Each trail should aim to collect 100 surveys at varied times and days throughout the summer and fall.
10 hours of manual counts should be completed throughout the season. Scan forms and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and send originals in pre-paid envelopes with surveys (wait until envelopes are full to send!).
This is bug season! Last year, several trails lost weeks of data due to bugs nesting in the IR Counter boxes and covering the heat-sensing scope. TSCs and volunteers should be checking the counters frequently! We recommend using a Q-tip to clean the scope even if it appears clear.
Have fun and take pictures! Post pictures of your data collection trips on the CTTC Facebook page using #cttrailcensus.
New logo! CTTC worked with a design team to develop a new color scheme and logo design for the program. Let us know what you think!
Full-color summary reports are now available! These 4-page (2-page double sided) packets are designed to quickly and concisely illustrate the impact of each trail on its community according the CTTC data. Scroll to the bottom of the data page to take a look!
Going forward, we will not be producing Quarterly Reports. Instead, the data will be uploaded to the interactive data portal each quarter.
First quarter 2018 IR count trail use data is now live on the data portal. The totals listed on the default page represent the uses for the first quarter of 2018 (January, February & March). Last year’s data can be viewed by clicking the red “2017 Adjusted Counts” button.
Click here to view the latest newsletter and please contact the Statewide Coordinator (email@example.com) if you have any questions or would like to get involved in the program.
Following the release of the 2017 Connecticut Trail Census data, NPR reporter Patrick Skahill met with CTTC’s Kristina and Laura at the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in Hamden to discuss and publicize the program!
For those who were not able to attend the recent webinar which provided an in depth analysis and discussion of the 2017 Trail Census data, the webinar recording is now available via the UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR)’s website.
Title: “Digging into the 2017 CTTC Data”, Original Presentation Date: April 3, 2018 Presented By Kristina Kelly, Connecticut Trail Census Statewide Coordinator, Laura Brown, Community and Economic Development Educator with UConn Extension and Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), and Aaron Budris, Senior Regional Planner for the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
Announcing: “Digging into the 2017 CTTC Data” interactive webinar! Offered as a companion to last month’s release of the 2017 CTTC count and survey data, the webinar will serve as a “guided tour” of the data. Objectives include walking attendees through how to interpret the data, pointing out interesting patterns in data and key takeaways, and discussing the myriad of potential applications this data could have in improving our state’s trail systems.
This webinar will be hosted by the following members of the CTTC Team: Kristina (Statewide Coordinator), Laura (UCONN Extension Educator), and Aaron (Senior Regional Planner for NVCOG). Cost is free, but registration is required.
A story published in the New Haven Independent dated January 16th, 2018, features CT Trail Census’ Site Coordinator for the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail New Haven, Aaron Goode.
In the article, Goode advocates for developers and city planners to consider the benefits of the trail beyond recreational users. He uses CTTC IR counter data to illustrate the point that people are using the trail in high numbers even in the winter when the trail isn’t plowed. This suggests that people may be using the trail for commuting and that the city should plow and maintain the trail during the winter months.
Being able to present exact trail usage data such as that which CTTC’s IR counters collect is extremely beneficial when advocating for trail maintenance, improvements and construction.
Click here or copy the following link into your browser to read the full article.
The Connecticut Trail Census team has been collaborating on an exciting new project out of the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Cooperative Extension. The project, called Downtowns & Trails, focuses on trails as a “natural amenity” and the connection between trails and the development of downtown community spaces. An end goal of the project is to create a guide for those interested in economic development through the inclusion and promotion of trails in downtown areas. This will be achieved by establishing a network where knowledge and experiences relating to economic development and trails may be shared. The Downtowns & Trails initiative also anticipates researching what conditions will make for a successful downtowns and trails initiative by visiting locations who have successfully implemented similar ideas in the past.
CTTC collects economic data from trail users with its Intercept Surveys by asking if and how those surveyed plan on spending money on their current trip to the trail. Trail users can select a spending category such as meals at a restaurant, lodging, or retail and estimate how much they plan on spending. With the spring and fall survey sessions resulting in the collection of over 1,000 surveys in its pilot year, the Census expects to gather an impressive amount of economic data to support surveying as a useful data collection method applicable to the Downtowns & Trails project model.
Earlier this fall, Laura and Kristina worked together with collaborators from UNH, Vermont, Washington, and Kentucky on a proposal for the 2017-2018 Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NRCRD) Small Grants Program and are pleased to announce that the proposal was accepted and the grant awarded! In January, they will attend an in-person workshop at UNH to develop the project and to plan a visit to Kentucky to learn from their Trail Towns Program.
Click this link to view the CTC monthly newsletter for program updates and an overview of the 2nd Annual CT Trails Symposium held on October 19th. As mentioned, the slides from our presentation that day can be viewed here!