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American Trails presented "Trails and Greenways: What’s Next?" on November 17, 2016 as a part of the American Trails "Advancing Trails Webinar Series"




"Trails and Greenways: What’s Next?"

Photo of sign about the future of greenways


American Trails presented this Webinar on November 17, 2016. It covers the latest trends in the planning, promotion, and conservation of trail and greenway corridors. Speakers are Bob Searns, The Greenway Team, Inc.; Chuck Flink, Greenways, Inc.; and Laura Belleville, Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Read more and learn about the presenters...



If you are interested in “attending” a FREE archived version of the webinar, you can download the recorded session on the American Trails website.



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photo of trail across prairie

Wildcat Reserve Trail


If you are interested in the latest trends in the trails and greenways this Webinar is not to be missed! Since the popularisation of the trails and greenways movement four decades ago, the vision, mission and function has been evolving in multiple ways in the areas of recreation; urban shaping; conservation; economic development; and healing and health.

New challenges and opportunities are emerging including: how to promote broader, routine engagement in walking and other trails activities to promote fitness; how to pursue greater resiliency in the face of the impacts of climate change; and how to preserve and protect precious landscapes in the face of growing urbanization. 

Given these considerations, this Webinar will take a look at what’s next.

Graphic of Appalachian Trail Threatened Landscapes



Three seasoned experts will present three distinct but interrelated directions:

• Laura Belleville (Appalachian Trail Conservancy) will speak about a new large landscape initiative for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This initiative expands on the permanently protected trail corridor to engage diverse partners and communities in conserving the natural resources and cultural heritage of the majestic Appalachian Mountains – protecting the recreation experience that calls visitors from busy eastern cities and beyond.

• Chuck Flink (Greenways Icorporated) will talk about and green infrastructure resiliency and how greenways and trails corridors can help promote vital benefits in this crucial area.

• Robert Searns (The Greenway Team) will moderate the panel and speak about “Frontcountryways” a new concept in readily accessible neighbourhood and city-edge corridors and why and how this can be the next logical step in the evolving urban greenways movement.



photo of smiling man

Bob Searns


Bob Searns is the founding owner of The Greenway Team, a planning and development firm based in Denver, CO that specializes in greenways, trails, and conservation. He has a four-decade, award-winning history in engaging resources to build quality trails. He works with communities to visualize and implement concepts with public engagement, consensus building, rights-of-way, fundraising, and construction. Projects range from Denver’s Platte River Greenway to a rim trail at Grand Canyon National Park.

Bob co-authored with Chuck Flink, Greenways: A Guide to Planning Design and Development (Island Press) and contributed to Greenways: The Beginning of an International Movement (Elsevier Press). He’s written for Planning, Landscape Architecture, LA China, and American Trails Magazines. He is currently on the Board of The World Trails Network and editor of A World of Trails magazine.



photo of smiling man

Chuck Flink


Chuck Flink, FASLA, PLA, is President of Greenways Incorporated of Durham, North Carolina. He is an award winning author, landscape architect and planner. He is a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects and widely regarded as one of America’s leading greenway planners and designers having completed projects in 250 communities within 37 states. He has provided consulting services to international clients in Asia, Canada, Europe, and South America.

Chuck has been featured for his work in National Geographic, Landscape Architecture China, American Planning and Business Journal. He is co-author of two award winning books: Greenways A Guide to Planning, Design and Development and Trails for the Twenty-First Century. Some of Chuck’s notable work includes: the Grand Canyon Greenway, AZ, Greater Grand Forks Greenway, ND, NW Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway, AR, Miami River (Florida) Greenway, Charleston County Greenbelt Plan, SC and the Wolf River Greenway in Memphis, TN.






photo of man

Laura Belleville

Laura Belleville is Senior Director of Conservation, for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. As a conservation specialist with more than 25 years of experience including field research, resource management and conservation program development, she joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy staff in 2005 and now serves as the Senior Director of Conservation. She currently leads a dynamic team of 25 staff in the Conservancy’s conservation department.

Laura and her team work with numerous volunteer and agency organizations on trail management, land acquisition, volunteer development, education and outreach, environmental monitoring, and advocacy. She has a passion for engaging local communities and volunteers in conservation projects. She has also worked with the National Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy. She’s proud to work for a trail organization that aspires to implement the community building and conservation vision of Benton MacKaye, while protecting and promoting a premier hiking destination.



More Resources

American Trails “Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind” area

The Greenway Team

Greenways Incorporated

Appalachian Trail Conservancy


Conservation Gateway site has all the full reports and published papers.

Conservation Biology Special Section on Conserving Nature’s Stage is posted here:

Flow map “Migrations in Motion” can be found here

The article synthesizing all the fragmentation experiments (Haddad et al. 2015) “Habitat fragmentation and its lasting impact on Earth’s ecosystems”  is here:


Interactive Web Tools include: Recently completed 

Climate Resilient Sites:  places in the East will higher climate resilience because they contain many connected micro-climates that buffer the residences from the effects of regional climate..

Resilient and Connected Landscapes.  This interactive map expands on the Resilience Site map by identifying resilient areas that directly intersect important climate corridors for population movements that track climate change.

Slider Tool:  This tool lets you slide back and forth between the above projects.

Conservation Strategy Maps:  These maps show how the resilient and connected lands rank for above-ground carbon storage, high-value water supply, siting for energy infrastructure, or various other attributes that could influence our strategic decisions.

The full report is posted here:


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