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Outdoor Community Development

Build your community with outdoor resources right in your backyard.

The Smith OEDC provides organizational support and expertise to empower local communities to leverage their outdoor recreation resources by partnering with local leaders, non-profits, public groups and other recreation organizations.


Fall 2023 Workshop Dates Coming Soon

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People in attendance at the ACT Workshop listen to a speaker.


The Advancing Community Trails (A.C.T.) Workshop is a customized educational, in-depth workshop designed to support the development of the next generation of great trails in West Virginia. The curriculum is developed to provide the knowledge, support, and spark needed to help communities facilitate moving their local projects forward regardless of where they are in the process.

This two-day workshop will be led by WVU staff, trail development experts, and local stakeholders, and will guide participants through all aspects of the lifecycle of a trail project from conceptualization to long term maintenance and operations.

Who should attend?

This event is specifically designed for West Virginia land managers, community officials, recreation professionals, tourism/economic development staff, and local advocates. Attendees are highly encouraged to attend as part of a cohort of other local stakeholders and partners in their community to ensure their ability to return with a collective understanding of how to move their project forward at home.


Day 1 - sample schedule
Time Topic Notes
10:30am Welcome & Introductions
10:50am Morning Session - Foundations and History of Trail Development Topics include: History of trails, impact and value of trails, understanding different trail users and their needs, track and trail types fffNo notes
12:00pm Lunch Provided
1:00pm Afternoon Session - The Trail Development Life Cycle Topics included: Phases of a trail development project, opportunity identification and analysis, planning and design No notes
3:30pm Community Breakout Sessions A facilitated reflection on the day's topics and application to your home trail project scenario and the Project Readiness Worksheet  
No notes
5:00pm Happy Hour Networking Social Unwind from the day and connect with fellow attendees during a  happy hour.  
6:00pm Dinner On your own. 
cccNo notes A No notes
Day 2
Time Topic Notes
8:00am Facilitated Coffee & Continental Breakfast Discuss current project, challenges, needs, with speakers over a full breakfast in the breakout room  
9:00am Morning Session - Trail Project Management and Coordination Topics include: Construction process, operations & maintenance, risk management, and signage
12:00pm  Lunch  Provided
1:00pm Afternoon Session - Making the Most of Your Investment   Topics Include: Activation, promotion, programming, volunteer engagement, and hospitality
2:45pm Reflection and Action Planning  A facilitated reflection on the day's topics covered and application to your home trail project scenario
3:30pm  Adjourn

For towns interested in getting involved in Ascend WV’s remote worker program, the Smith OEDC and West Virginia Department of Tourism has curated a Community Playbook that will guide leaders through the five areas necessary to attract and retain remote workers as well as provide access to resources available to strengthen these areas.

Download the Community Readiness Playbook