Twenty stakeholders and Pulaski residents attended the Trail Planning Exercise Tuesday, March 28, 2017 with Ursula Lemanski, representative from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program. The meeting included a driving tour of the Town’s top trail corridors, existing and potential, as well as an afternoon of discussion on how to create a more cohesive and strategic trail system.
Mayor Nick Glenn opened the interactive afternoon session to discuss new trails and connectors, stressing awareness of how these assets encourage economic development and will ultimately lead to a healthier Pulaski.
This planning session is the result of a grant application to the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program. The Friends of Peak Creek worked closely with the Town to submit an application. Funding in Virginia was limited this year, but the NPS proposed a day-long session to encourage development of a comprehensive trail plan. A representative from Pulaski County was also in attendance.
“This was a good start to envisioning what kinds of planning and development should happen in the coming years,” noted Cathy Hanks, president for Friends of Peak Creek. This organization had nine members in attendance.
“One thing that I liked seeing during the day was the openness to immediate needs while also discussing long-term opportunities,” said Mike McMillion who owns Pulaski Bikes and has been instrumental in developing the Draper Mountain Trail system.
Some goals emerging from the session include:
- Promoting what we have
- Looking more closely at connections to Gatewood Reservoir
- Building overall awareness of numerous benefits of trails — economic return on investment and community health
- Better data on trail use
A definite need in the future is someone who might be the local champion for trails. The Town has staff to manage and support efforts, but a citizen champion can help keep the project going. Anyone interested in playing this part should contact Nichole Hair, Deputy Town Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, (540) 994-8610