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Parks, Recreation and Trail Planning

Trail Towns and Recreation Collaboration

Parks, recreation amenities and trails continue to be some of the most popular and sought-out amenities for local communities. Not only do they provide social, environmental and physical benefits to the community, they have also been proven to create and leverage new opportunities for economic growth.

We have extensive expertise in helping communities develop singular and joint-recreation plans and trail plans. In addition, LIAA is recognized as a Midwest leader in helping communities establish new joint recreation entities (i.e. Recreational Authorities) and “Trail Town” economic development strategies.

Collaborative Options for Recreation (Recreational Authorities)

LIAA's professionals can help your community start thinking collectively about ways to pursue inter-jurisdictional cooperation and collaboration in providing for community-wide parks and recreation services. Whether it's an introductory presentation or a full-fledged planning and development effort, LIAA's recreational experts can help your community through the collaborative process.

LIAA has partnered with the Michigan Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) to develop Partnering for Parks, a guidebook for municipalities that outlines options for jointly providing parks, recreation and leisure in Michigan. The guidebook discusses the key roles of parks and recreation providers, as well as administrative and legal tools for intergovernmental cooperation. Steps for getting started, funding options and millage strategies are also included. Partnering for Parks is available for free download on the MRPA website. The print guidebook is available for just $10 per copy. Please contact MRPA at 517-485-9888 or info@mrpaonline.org to place your order today.

You can also download the latest Partnering for Parks PowerPoint presentation by clicking here. 

LIAA also serves as the Executive Director of the City of Traverse City and the Charter Township of Garfield Recreational Authority. The Recreational Authority oversees three sites in the Traverse City area: Historic Barns Park at the Grand Traverse Commons; Hickory Meadows; and part of the open space on Traverse City's West Bayfront. 

LIAA's Community Planner works with stakeholders in Boyne City to Review Trail Town assets
LIAA's Community Planner works with stakeholders in Boyne City to Review Trail Town assets

Trail Towns
Increasingly, local governments are considering better ways to utilize their current trail infrastructure to attract tourism and spur new business creation. First developed by the Allegheny Trail Alliance, the Trail Town approach uses trails as the focal point of a tourism-centered strategy for economic development and revitalization.

 Harry Burkholder leads a Trail Town mobile tour of the City of Marquette for the 2014 MML Conference
Harry Burkholder leads a Trail Town mobile tour of the City of Marquette for the 2014 MML Conference

Utilizing the primary tenants of the Trail Town approach, LIAA's professionals have cultivated this unique economic development strategy in several communities across Michigan. LIAA regularly conducts presentations and seminars on Trail Towns at regional and statewide conferences.In addition, LIAA has developed the Trail Town Manual for Northern Michigan.

Again, whether it's just an introductory presentation or a full-fledged planning and development effort, LIAA's noted Trail Town experts can help your community develop its own Trail Town strategy.

Download the Trail Town Manual for Northern Michigan

Download the latest Trail Town Presentation - Delivered at the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association Conference (Feb. 11, 2015)

Leveraging Trails for Community and Economic Development - Michigan Township News

Blue Waters Trail Towns Master Plan (86 Mb)

 

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