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Making Connections… The Forks of the Ohio Regional Trails Symposium

This past Friday John Buerkle and Mike Kotyk attended this symposium which focused on advancing trail planning and development efforts in the Power of 32 region (, which includes PA, OH, WV, and Maryland.  The Symposium gave John and Mike an opportunity to rekindle relationships with former clients and friends, as well as participate in “Setting the Regional Trail Agenda”.

The Symposium brought together the “who’s who of trail development” within the four-state area.  It was a great opportunity for veterans to discuss how to expand the trails into a regional network and to tackle those difficult challenges.  It also was an excellent opportunity for new trail advocates to garner knowledge and support from those who “have been there and done that”.


Mike enjoyed the opportunity to network as well as gain new knowledge related to asset based community development and economic impacts from trail development, as well as learning more about the development of the regional trail planning tool.

During the symposium, it became evident that the geographic area of the Power of 32 should include more counties as there are other opportunities to expand the regional trail network.  Presenters frequently referenced the Power of 32, 48, 64, or Power of 32×2.

John and Mike were happy to share their thoughts on bringing Chautauqua County, NY into the fold.  They are working on a trail feasibility study to connect Chautauqua Institution to Barcelona Harbor on Lake Erie.  The trail will eventually connect to the northern segment of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail ( This effort is being undertaken through the Westfield Development Corporation ( and the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development ( with the assistance of Pashek Associates.

Our current and past clients, as well as friends in trail community, present at the symposium included:

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