Connecticut Trail Symposium Agenda

Connecticut Trail Symposium

Friday, October 13, 2023, 9am-3pm, Five Points Center for the Visual Arts, 855 University Drive, Torrington, CT

8:00am Registration / Networking & Continental Breakfast - displays
9:00am Welcome and Overview of the Day
Bruce Donald, Southern New England Manager for the East Coast Greenway Alliance
Judith McElhone, Executive Director and Founder, Five Points Arts Center
Keynote: Development of a roadmap for internal and external stakeholder engagement that empowers CT DEEP to recognize, listen, and serve the full array of people who love the CT outdoors
Joseph Dickerson, Sr. Advisor for Outdoor Equity, CT DEEP
9:45am Panel Discussion of Accessibility/Inclusion in the Outdoors facilitated by Joseph Dickerson. The panel will discuss outreach, engagement, and how to create meaningful outdoor experiences that resonate as relevant and inviting to all lovers of the outdoors.
    • Urban Hikers - A community-oriented group dedicated to exploring cities on foot, uncovering hidden urban treasures, and fostering a sense of connection with the urban environment. The group promotes physical well-being, cultural awareness, and social interaction through organized walking events. Members include locals, newcomers, and visitors, creating a diverse community of various ages, backgrounds, and fitness levels.
    • Akiebia Hicks, PhD, Durational Project Manager, CTDEEP
    • Amy Blaymore Paterson, Executive Director, CT Land Conservation Council
    • Emely Ricci, Community Planner, Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments
    • Nicola Wood, Executive Director, Outside Perspectives
    • Greg Gregory, author of “Many Paths up the Mountain,” CT Woodlands Magazine article (spring 2023)
10:30am Break & refreshments
networking and enjoy displays
10:45am Inclusive and Accessible Conservation for All
CT Land Conservation Council
11:30am Barriers to Meaningful Wilderness Experiences
Nicola Wood, Executive Director, Outside Perspectives
12:15pm Lunch
provided and prepared by Ciesco Catering
1:15pm Session 1 (Four Concurrent 45 min Sessions)  
1. Connecting Across Time – How Trails and History Can Work Together
Aaron Maracavitch, Executive Director, CT Landmarks
2. Building Community Through Partnerships - Oxford CT
Joe Lanier, Youth Conservation Corps Coordinator/Founder, Oxford High School
Community Room 
3. Social Carrying Capacity Among Trail Users in High-Use Recreation Areas
Laura Kelly and Anita Morzillo, UConn Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment
Conference Room 
4. Trail Protection Techniques on Private Land
Clare Cain, Trails Director, and Jeb Stevens, Trails Protection Coordinator, CT Forest & Park Association
2:15pm Session 2 (Four Concurrent 45 min Sessions)  
1. Working Together to Grow the Outdoor Recreation Economy
Carolann Oullette, Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation
2. CT Trail Census and CT Trail Finder
Aaron Budris, Environmental Planning Director at the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments, and Emily Wilson, Geospatial Educator at the University of Connecticut, Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR)
Community Room 
3. Improving Equity and Access in the Outdoors for All
Neil Johnson, Store Manager of REI Co-op in Milford and a founding member of The Connecticut Outdoor Recreation Alliance (CORA)
Conference Room 
4. Building Community to Preserve Outdoor Recreation
Mick Ferraro, Director, Membership and Outreach, New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA)
3:15pm Wrap-up
Group impressions, ideas for next year, thank you and Evaluations
Bruce Donald, Southern New England Manager for the East Coast Greenway Alliance
3:30pm Optional Hike


In Partnership with partner/co-sponsor with the Greenways Council, CT DEEP, City of Torrington, and the UConn (CT Trails Program, Extension, and CLEAR).


City of Torrington Logo

UConn Extension
UConn CLEAR logo