2006 Conference - Building Trails for a Healthier KY
Four Points Sheraton, February 17-18 2006


Building Leadership and Strengthening Your Coalition (PDF 120k)
Lynda Wilson

Crime, Property Values, Trail Opposition & Liability Issues (PDF 1.6m)
Tim Eling

Finding Funds (PDF 150k)
Wesley Delk, Grants Specialist, Gateway Area Development District

Final Program
Download Registration
Discussion Forum

Conference Summary

Corporate Sponsors: University of KY Prevention Research Center, KY Transportation Cabinet, Conservation Fund, Pedal Power, Pedal the Planet, CDP Engineers, Inc. , Advanced Drainage System, Wild Oats, Cave Run Bicycle & Outdoor Shop and the Sierra Club - Bluegrass Group.

62 people came out a very snowy day with slick icy roads and made the 2006 Conference "Building Trails for A Healthier Kentucky" a very good synergistic meeting with lots of optimism for the future of railtrails..... If we work at it.

The conference began on Friday with a Bike Education Class taught by Steve and Cheryl Wyatt. Steve and Cheryl are certified League of American Cyclist Instructors and were very patient with the class. After several hours of class room instruction they took the class outside to practice riding skills. Once those skills were mastered the next adventure was to go onto Newtown Pike and Citation Boulevard. Neither of these streets is conducive to beginner cyclist but everyone survived and had a memorable experience. Two of the class were pictured in the Lexington Herald Leader.

On Saturday it snowed fast and furious and driving was treacherous in the morning. Yvette Rollins of the Indiana Horse Council, Carol Whipple, a consultant to Kentucky’s “Community Partnerships for Protecting Children” and Colby Wagner of the “Save the Children” program could not make it.

In the morning Dave Adkisson, President of the KY Chamber of Commerce gave us a positive view of how trails lead to better communities. In the morning Dave Adkisson, President of the KY Chamber of Commerce gave us a positive view of how trails lead to better communities. He described how Owensboro received one of the first Transportation Enhancement grants for construction of the first Greenbelt Park trails. He described the difficult time selling the public on the value of such a project to the community, however now several local residential and commercial developers use their close proximity to the Greenbelt as a marketing appeal. Then
Judge Kirtley of Muhlenberg County walked us through how his small community built and now are using their trail more than they ever imagined.

Dan Burden of “Walkable Communities, Inc. challenged our thinking about community development giving examples of the multiple benefits of walkable communities particularly when we suffer from diseases of inactivity and life style and with gasoline becoming more expensive. Trails and greenways are a major part of his walkable communities. He illustrated how roads become less effective in moving traffic with more lanes and how a safe road is a road not designed for speed. Two lanes and a turning lane appear to be optimal. For more information go to his website

Regina Hall of the Big Sandy ADD reported that a price had been placed on the Dawkins Line of $500,000 for which R.J. Corman would sell the line to the three counties of Breathitt, Johnson and Magoffin. The ADD first submitted a letter of intent for a grant for a feasibility study and after being invited to do so have submittedt a full application to the Economic Development Administration. They have received good support from the County Judges who have agreed to do a $3000 match from each county. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) will be approached to help with the purchase. Corman has already removed or is in the process of removing the rails and the ties. Opposition to the trail she believes comes from misunderstanding about the trail and who would use it. She described an entrepreneurial center that has created a small business incubator in Johnson County. Small business can apply for loans, have low rent and share common facilities for three years and then hopefully more out into the community. The incubator would be available to provide support to small business owners who would like to develop businesses along the trail. They plan to do more presentations in the community to dispel negative myths and are thinking of how to do a trip for local people to go to the Virginia Creeper to see how a trail might develop. A person from the audience raised the interesting comparison of how much it would cost to build the roadbed for 32 miles that Corman is willing to sell for $500,000. I hope someone works that up and sends the figure to me and also how they got it. The assumption is that today the cost of building a railtrail from scratch would be much more than the current asking price.

Dr. Terry Brooks reported on the "Kids Count Data" and gave us some sobering news. KY has gone from 37th to 42nd in ratings of the health care of our kids. The drop from 37th to 42nd was the worst drop by a state in one year. There was a decline in 62% of the indicators measured. 39% kids in KY live in a home without a parent with a secure full time job and 25% live in poverty. The most positive result is that KY "did not get worse" in some categories. There was a decline in teen pregnancies and a reduction in the school drop out rate. More info on the health of KY's kids and suggested policy can be found at the KY Youth Advocates website: Dr. Aaron Beighle of UK talked of the necessity of having physical activity for children.

A challenge award of $300 to be given to the non profit group along the Lexington Big Sandy Corridor whose county or city opens the first mile of railtrail along the corridor was announced. The donation is be used for improvements to the trail. It appears that Lexington will be able to get under construction this year and so KRTC will offer this incentive to the next community that can complete another section of the Lexington Big Sandy. The award is provided by Dr. Glen Proudfoot, an emergency room physician in Somerset who was raised in Rowan County. KRTC invites other RT supporters to match or add to Dr. Proud foot's contribution. It is a tangible way of showing support for the Lexington Big Sandy RT.

Larry Ridenour spoke briefly about the upcoming "nuts and bolts" workshop for the Lexington Big Sandy Railtrail to be held in Morehead April 1st. Details on the KRTC website.

Martin Schickel spoke first hand from his experience of running a business on the "Loveland Trail" of the Little Miami Trail in Ohio. The trail can not be the sole sustainer of most businesses but it is a positive amenity that attracts business. A developed trial has fewer problems associated with it then an abandoned corridor. He spoke from first hand experience about the increase in property values and businesses and the decline in vandalism associated with the Little Miami Trail.

Joanna Hinton, Executive Director of Preservation Kentucky gave a talk entitled "Historic Preservation, It's not just about Buildings anymore" and essentially invited railtrail and greenway projects to pursue historic preservation grants. See

Crystal Ducker, the Executive Director of the Office of Transportation Enhancements walked us through how to submit applications for TE funding. See

. Lisa Rainey Brownell reported on her trail interviews that document how communities value their trails. It was good to see Lisa again; she was part of the team that did the abandon railroad corridors study for Kentucky and is a UK Doctoral Candidate in Geography. In all it was a very good conference which should have a ripple effect across the state.

If you have additional remembrances of the conference you would like to share please send to:





P.O. Box 597 • Lexington, Kentucky • 40588-0597

© 2005, Kentucky Rails to Trails Council
a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit tax-exempt organization