Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

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July 3, 2014

Trail planners can provide input to state officials

People with professional or volunteer experience with trails can help guide Indiana’s trails plan by attending a brainstorming session Friday, July 11, in Indianapolis.

Called a charrette, the session encourages input for planning purposes. It runs from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Indiana Government Center South, Conference Rooms B and C, 200 W. Washington St.

The charrette is geared toward members of local governments and nonprofit organizations that maintain public trails and members of citizen “friends groups” that support trails, according to organizer Greg Beilfuss, Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Outdoor Recreation planner.

Input will be used to update the 2006-16 Indiana State Trails Plan, known as “Hoosiers on the Move.” The main focus is to gather input and feedback on the state’s Visionary Trails Network, a collection of bikeways and greenways that connect destinations and communities. Visionary trails must pass through two or more counties.

“It’s about discovering which local trails operators have solid, probable plans to create new trails,” Beilfuss said. “Some of our ideal participants are cities and towns that have new bike and pedestrian plans with some funding in place and some land purchasing going on.”

The charrette will open with remarks from streams and trails specialists with the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation. From there, participants will break into groups based on geographic regions. In the afternoon, they will meet back up with the whole group to report discussion results.

Participants representing communities that have a local trails plan should bring that plan with them. They should RSVP by e-mailing Beilfuss at gbeilfuss@dnr.IN.gov.

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