November 26, 2019
Great news… on Friday the National Park Service issued their long awaited press release officially announcing that our application for technical assistance from their Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program has been awarded!
A copy of the NPS press release as well as our own release that is being sent to media outlets can be read here. Please share them with your local media contacts and add your own comments about your support for developing the Ohio River Recreation Trail.
The National Park Service has tremendous experience in guiding development of water trails throughout the country and to receive planning assistance from them is quite an honor. With their help – and your continued engagement as partners – we can create the resources people need to explore and enjoy the Ohio River Valley, its beauty, towns, history and people. The award will help us create a trail that will ultimately be recognized by the National Park Service as a “National Water Trail” that will attract paddlers, boaters, cyclists and anglers while helping all our unique river communities market their recreational assets and signature annual events.
Here’s a quick update on our activities over the past few months…
1) We held a half day meeting in Lawrenceburg, IN with the key trail, boating safety and adventure tourism leadership from ODNR, Indiana DNR and Kentucky Fish & Wildlife to explore ways we can all work together to develop the Trail. We were so impressed with their enthusiasm and support for this project.
2) Our friends with Kertis Creative in Louisville completed a pro bono marketing video on the Trail that we encourage you to share with your co-workers and on social media. Here is the link – https://vimeo.com/358376457/d3a9b52e1a
3) Our Steering Committee held a half day planning session at the Thomas More Biology Field Station on the Ohio in California, KY. NPS staff Russ Clark and Andrea Irland helped us launch the next phase of our planning work as we fleshed out the scope of work for our key Committees. We invite you to contribute your expertise to this project by joining one of our newly formed Committees. Just email the Committee Chair or Chair of your choice to get on board!
Organizational Structure Committee – Jack Sutton email@example.com and Sue Schneider firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Outreach & Activity Committee – Jerry Shulte email@example.com and Brewster Rhoads BrewOhio@gmail.comTrail Committee – Digital Guide – David Rutter firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning Committee – Frances Mennone email@example.com
Coming up in 2020…
We are in the very early stages of planning a meeting of the mayors and key elected leadership from our 50+ river towns and counties graciously hosted by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer in late spring. Also under discussion is a meeting of travel, tourism and development directors from the same communities to map out strategies to promote our river corridor and build the “recreation economy” along the Ohio. Finally, we are starting to plan our annual paddle from Portsmouth to Louisville in early June. We look forward to visiting every community along the way to meet with local leaders and promote the Trail – and sample the best food and drink in the Midwest!
News from River Communities…
We were honored to be asked to submit letters of support to the State of Ohio for funding requests for very exciting riverfront improvement projects in New Richmond (Liberty Landing Park) and Ripley (Freedom Landing). New Richmond recently secured funding to develop a separated bike trail from Coney Island along Rt. 52 to their community – a wonderful way to encourage cyclists to visit their historic downtown.
Covington is in the middle of construction of their $6 million riverfront improvement project that will include a canoe and kayak launch area just below the Suspension Bridge with connections to the NKY bike trail project being managed by Southbank Partners to connect all the neighboring communities along the Ohio. Click here for the details.
Madison has big plans to further improve their impressive riverfront landing next year and Ludlow residents are exploring possible locations for a canoe/kayak access ramp near their business district.
The River Heritage Conservancy is moving forward with their plans for a 400 acre riverfront park in Jeffersonville by the Falls of the Ohio. Check out their wonderful video.
Finally, we are excited that one of the other projects awarded technical assistance by the National Park Service is the John Muir Trail which will run from West Point, KY to the Gulf of Mexico. Their trail starts where ours ends so we will be doing lots of collaborative work with their leadership.
Please let us know about projects in your community that we can share!
Thanks once again for all your support and collaboration. We look forward to working closely with you during the busy months ahead!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,
P.S. Check out these videos about the Trail. Great way to warm up over the holiday weekend!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn6iCVFpgbY&feature=youtu.be – 5 minute Louisville METRO TV videe
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwNALx0pqzg&feature=youtu.be – 22 minute video of June 2019 Paddle