Richard Edwards has been appointed Recreation Infrastructure Development Coordinator for West Virginia University Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Collaborative.
A national leader in sustainable trail development, Richard Edwards has been appointed Coordinator of Recreational Infrastructure Development for the West Virginia University Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Collaborative.
Edwards joins WVU after 21 years with the International Mountain Biking Association as director of trail solutions for community engagement and education.
“There are a lot of difficult trails here, but we have to focus on the full range of trail possibilities to include entry-level hiking and mountain biking to introduce people to outdoor recreation,” he said. explained Danny Twilley, Associate Dean of the Collaborative. “Hiring Rich, one of the nation’s most remarkable trail designers and builders, will help West Virginia accomplish these tasks. “
Edwards has built a solid reputation in the trail building community and is known for the care and effort he puts into the design, with particular attention to durability and working with the terrain topography. He brings this knowledge, experience and creativity with him as he seeks to reinvent the trails in West Virginia that will shape communities across the state for years to come.
“I want to help community leaders in West Virginia develop compelling trail experiences that help their communities be recognized as a desirable place to live, work and play through outdoor recreation,” he said. declared. “I see an opportunity to really make a difference over the next decade. We can have world class trails here, and West Virginia is a day’s drive from half the American population.
Edwards’ mission is to empower communities in West Virginia to help make the outdoors accessible through education and toolkits.
“It is important for long-term success that communities take ownership and have the resources to maintain their outdoor recreation assets as the state develops,” he said. “They also need to make sure that trail users are ready for this experience, especially if there aren’t many trails in the area. Start easy and increase the difficulty level.
And to build and maintain trails, the Collaborative believes in the power of those who are already there.
“People are going out of state for trail development, but we have trail builders in this state. We must support and develop them, ”Twilley agreed. “Let’s give West Virginia the skills and knowledge base to build high quality, sustainable trails in our communities.”
cp / 11/03/21
CONTACT: Christina Petrilli
External marketing and communication manager
Brad and Alys Smith External Economic Development Collaborator
304-590-4594; [email protected]
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