COLUMBUS - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will hold the first of a series of regional-level meetings in Westerville on June 12 to gather citizen input regarding a proposed statewide system of interconnected, recreational trails. Two individual sessions are scheduled for public convenience: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Everal Barn at Heritage Park, 60 N. Cleveland Ave.
Variety of needs: Recreational trails fill a variety of social, environmental, economic and transportation needs. ODNR's primary goal in developing a comprehensive, statewide trails plan is to produce a document that will assist all developers in meeting the vision of a statewide trails system.
First steps will be to inventory all existing and planned recreational trails and to gather input on what prospective trails users want and expect from an interconnecting system. Joining in this effort are the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Parks and Recreation Association, Ohio Greenways Project, the Rails to Trails Conservancy, the National Park Service and local trail groups and agencies.
Three goals: ODNR has three goals for the meetings:
UTo gather information on existing or planned state, regional and community trails
UTo identify criteria for trail-related financial assistance
UTo identify strategic issues and recommendations for carrying out a statewide trails system
Meeting attendees are encouraged to bring copies of any trail plans or proposals (with maps) that ODNR can use in preparing a statewide trails inventory.