PA Greenways and Trails Summit to Showcase Reading Area Natural Gems

Challenge yourself to a ride on an internationally-acclaimed
mountain biking trail, kayak the vast Blue Marsh Lake, learn about the green
features of the region's newest nature center-and make sure you're back from
dinner in time for an urban ghost tour through downtown Reading before bed!

Join upwards of 200 other trail professionals, volunteers,
enthusiasts and advocates when the 2017 PA Greenways and Trails Summit comes to
Reading September 24-26th. With a theme of Bringing Trails Home: Embracing
All Terrains, Serving All People, this year's summit will speak to the
state's strategic focus in connecting and creating trails that unify all people
and create networks of economic activity, culture, health and accessibility.

The 3-day summit will center around downtown Reading's
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, featuring educational sessions, mobile workshops
and nationally-recognized speakers.

2017 Summit Highlights include:

Mobile Workshops

·    Bike on an
acclaimed International Mountain Biking Association Bronze Level Ride Center in
Mt. Penn Preserve; or on the flat, lowland trails that connect Reading to
nearby recreation and cultural centers.

·    Learn
Forest Management by walking the trails at Nolde Forest, where resource
management projects will be observed and discussed.

·    Be
Inspired by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) features of
Berks Nature's brand-new environmental education center, The Nature Place.

·    Paddle
and Hike your way through an afternoon at Blue Marsh Lake, learning
about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recreation mission.

·    Take a
Walk Through the Wetlands at Angelica Park, learning the
effects wetlands have on wildlife habitats, drinking water, beer manufacturing
and other products.

·    Go Back
in Time, through a hike on the Union Canal Towpath and visit to the
Berks County Heritage Center, focusing on the history and natural heritage of
the Berks County Parks and Recreation trail system.

Speakers

·    Cindy
Adams Dunn: Secretary, PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

·    Roy
Gothie: Statewide Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator, Multimodal
Division, PennDOT

·    Angela
Park: Founder and Director of Mission Critical, an organization
dedicated to making social justice and equity hallmarks of progressive advocacy
and policy making

·    Aaron
Brown: Former Board President for Oregon Walks, the state’s pedestrian
advocacy organization

Seven organizations from across Pennsylvania submitted proposals
to host the biannual summit, organized every other year by the Pennsylvania
Recreation and Park Society (PRPS) and the PA Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources (DCNR), along with a host in the chosen city. Reading was
selected from a joint proposal submitted by Schuylkill River National Heritage
Area and Berks Nature.

"The Schuylkill River Heritage Area, along with Berks
Nature, is extremely excited to be hosting the 2017 Greenways and Trails Summit
this September," said Tim Fenchel, Deputy Director for Schuylkill River
National Heritage Area. "Not only will the Summit offer relevant and
practical educational workshops and sessions but participants from around the
state will also get to see, experience and understand the incredible diversity
of outdoor recreational assets that our region has to offer.”

Berks Nature President Kim Murphy added that the summit would
highlight "all the hard work our Greater Reading Trails Partnership has
done to improve our local trails systems over the past decade."

Among the other entities and organizations involved in the
planning of the summit over the past year: Berks Area Mountain Biking Association
(BAMBA), the City of Reading, Berks County, Pagoda Pacers, the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Natural Lands
Trust, Structure Green, Nolde Forest, the Greater Reading Convention &
Visitor's Bureau and Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

“We are happy to help attract commerce to Greater Reading and
thrilled that the Greenways and Trails Summit will be here in 2017,” Murphy
said. “The summit will be a great opportunity for us to showcase the Greater
Reading area and our magnificent trails and natural resources.”

Registration is now
open for the Summit: The complete registration guide, including a schedule
of events, can be found online, at www.PRPS.org.