Friday Sessions
June 11, 2021

Full Agenda

8:45 am-9:30 am
Ohio Updates: ODNR & ODOT (T)

As an update to the Ohio Trails Vision, released by ODNR Director Mary Mertz (2019), ODNR will detail its initiatives to realize this Ohio Trails Vision, including efforts to inventory all recreational trails in Ohio, continue to build and promote the Buckeye Trail, increase opportunities for mountain biking, designate new water trails, and improve trail-access opportunities for all Ohioans.

ODOT will share updates on their Walk.Bike.Ohio Plan, US and State Bike Route initiative, ODOT’s engagement of partners and stakeholders to promote multimodal transportation improvements.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will:

  • Learn how to access the state trail inventory, provide updates and feedback on the new inventory application;
  • Learn access to and techniques for promotion of the Buckeye Trail;
  • Be apprised of expanded mountain biking opportunities;
  • Gain updates on new water trails;
  • Be apprised on how to improve trail access;
  • Learn basics of the Walk.Bike.Ohio program; and
  • Learn how to engage with the US & State Bike Route initiative in his/her region


Tom Arbour

Trails Coordinator, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Watercraft

Tom Arbour is the trails coordinator for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  Housed within the Division of Parks and Watercraft, Tom headed up the effort to create the 2019 Ohio Trails Vision, the next plan for recreational trails in the state. Now, his effort is focused on creating an inventory of all recreational trails in the state and presenting that inventory through both web and mobile device applications.

Laura Briggs

Director of Policy Initiatives, Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Laura Briggs is a 38-year career communications professional with experience in both the private and public sectors. After 16 years in the newspaper industry, she joined then-Governor Bob Taft’s staff in 1999. Two years later, she left for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, combining her communications background with her love of the outdoors. She left ODNR as Chief of Communications in 2011 to become Director of Communications for JobsOhio. In 2014, Briggs became Chief of Staff for former Ohio First Lady Karen Kasich. Today, she is blessed to serve in her current role as ODNR’s Director of Policy Initiatives.

David Short

Transportation Planner, Ohio Department of Transportation District 12

David Short is a Professional Engineer and Professional Surveyor who works in the Planning Department of ODOT District 12.  Throughout his career, David has been involved in the planning, design, and construction of many types of transportation projects.  He currently is serving as the District Safe Routes to School Coordinator and the Design Project Manager for the Opportunity Corridor.  David holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from Cleveland State University.

9:30 am-10:30 am
Wrap Up Event: Creating More Inclusive Trails & Outdoor Spaces (U)

Cleveland’s own Leon Bibb of WKYC-TV will moderate the wrap up event of the Industrial Heartland & Cleveland Trails Summit, where we examine the barriers that prevent people from accessing and using trails, parks and outdoor public spaces. This discussion with national thought leaders will explore the lived experiences of people of color in the outdoors as well as recent trends that explore barriers to trail use with a focus on race and gender. This will be a thought-provoking and interactive discussion that will offer innovative ideas on how to create a more inclusive trail experiences for all people.


  • Leon Bibb, WKYC
  • Ryan Chao, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
  • Catherine Girves, Toole Design Group
  • Rachel Frierson, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy
  • Nicole Jackson, Environmental Educator, Park Advocate, Birder, and Organizer
  • Cassius Cash, Great Smoky Mountains National Park