Over the next year, the Maricopa Trail + Park Foundation is partnering with Maricopa County Parks & Recreation and Southwest Decision Resources to initiate a Trail Town Program for the Maricopa Trail (Trail). The Trail Town Program will be developed in collaboration with outdoor recreation experts and community members to create a program that celebrates the Trail and the communities it traverses. We’ll update this page as things progress, so stay tuned!
Trail Town Development Process
What is a Trail Town?
Trail Towns are connected by the Trail. The Trail Town Program enhances these connections by supporting participating communities in embracing and celebrating the Trail. Members of the Trail Town Program instill a sense of community pride and promote the Trail to their residents, while providing safe and welcoming experiences for visitors by providing goods, services and amenities to Trail users that support local trail-related businesses. Community-centric support extends throughout the regional landscape of the Trail Town Program, connecting chambers of commerce, municipalities and businesses to a larger trail-based community.
Why have a Trail Town Program?
Trail Towns are portal communities along the Trail, providing access to the Trail and amenities for Trail users. They provide a welcoming environment for Trail users, and they benefit from that visitation. Trail Towns are part of a regional network to support business and tourism initiatives, with an enhanced ability to convey key messages about responsible recreation to ensure that visitors act as good stewards while recreating in the area. Residents are instilled with a healthy sense of place and are connected to the Trail with program benefits and opportunities.
Maricopa Trail Town Visioning
Increased awareness of local recreation and park opportunities near the Trail.
Signage & Maps
Add trail signs like the Prescott Circle Trail with maps showing trail overview.
Develop a “Guide to the Maricopa Trail” app or book that includes maps, things to see, day trip recommendations, places to stay and eat, etc.
Events & Programing
Host more “getting to know the trail” events to introduce trail users to the diversity of the route
Trail & Business Marketing
Develop a “trail passport” that can be stamped by local businesses & attractions, possibly earn discounts or other benefits.
Opportunities to provide directional signage to local businesses and centers.
Partner with Sky Harbor Airport to promote the Trail to visitors on signage.
Maricopa Trail Branding
Work together to provide a unified Maricopa Trail experience across all Trail Towns.
Opportunities to partner with more groups like Pinal/Maricopa Master Gardeners, Audubon Society, and Arizona Game and Fish Department for restoration days.
Programs aimed at school field trips (public, charter, home school)
Increase opportunities for stewardship events along the Trails.
Motivation for enriched partnerships
Health & Wellness
Promote alternative transportation and not just a recreational trail
Provide healthy activity alternatives for individuals and families.
Link in with healthcare providers to promote the physical and mental benefits of outdoor activity
Create/promote cultural awareness
Highlight the Maricopa Trail’s role in preserving wildlife corridors
Open Spaces Preservation
Protecting and maintaining open spaces, even among urban growth and development
Access & Regional Connection
Make it easier for neighbors to get to the trail.
Promote more community involvement with maintaining our trail system
Share money and people-power to get work done.
Next Step: Advisory Committee
So what will we do with all of this? The visioning session produced a number of important ideas and themes to pursue with the advisory committee. It provided a starting point (not to mention some amazingly detailed ideas) for the committee to evaluate as potential program elements. The advisory committee will assist with drafting partnership agreements, implementation process steps and key benefits for communities who wish to take part in the program, as well as identify how these benefits will be incorporated at a regional scale.