December 17, 2015 Meeting

Introductory Meeting: December 17, 2015

Meeting RecapFullSizeRender

See Meeting Agenda

A successful introductory meeting for the Dutchess County Trails Roundtable was hosted at the Wallace Center in Hyde Park. Representatives from many Dutchess County municipalities and major trail organizations attended.

After a brief recap of the Dutchess County Trails Conference, representatives shared their recent triumphs and future trail building and outdoor recreation projects. The current Roundtable mission statement was reviewed and will be edited to include the aspect of access to financial resources.

When setting the agenda for future meetings, the following were the most prominently mentioned topics among the audience:

  • Promotion of National Trails Day with events throughout the county.
  • Increasing public awareness of the Roundtable through social media, press, monthly emails, newsletters, and personal networking within one’s own community.
  • Funding of trail projects through grants and private donations. Finding willing donors, applying for grants, and the possibility of joining in partnerships to access grant money. Utilizing the NYS Department of State Grants portal.
  • Ensuring that the trails established today, will be maintained in the future. When building plans for trails, maintenance plans should also be formed. Possible workshops on trail maintenance and volunteer outreach.
  • Getting younger people involved in community trail projects. Reaching out to collegiate clubs, high school students, and Boy Scout/Girl Scout groups.
  • Building a strong relationship with municipal governments and using the resources they have to offer for trail maintenance.
  • Having representation from the Department of Environmental Conservation at future meetings and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
  • Promoting tourism opportunities through county trails. Building a county-wide brand for trails so signs and regulations stay consistent across municipalities. Hosting a featured speaker from Dutchess Tourism.
  • Trail building opportunities using old rail beds across the county.

A suggestion was made to move the regular meeting time to 3pm instead of 4pm. Locations for future meetings were deliberated and the following suggestions were made:

  • River Center in Beacon
  • Cary Institute in Millbrook
  • La Grange Town Hall
  • Farm and Home Center in Millbrook
  • Bard College
  • Pine Plains Library
  • Norrie Point Environmental Center in Staatsburg
  • Marist College
  • Beekman Town Hall
  • Taconic Center
  • The possibility of choosing one consistent centralized location to host the meetings.

The next Dutchess County Trails Roundtable meeting will be hosted on March 17, 2016, location TBA. The meeting will likely focus on events and promotions for National Trails day (June 4th) and how to promote tourism using trails.