Connecting Communities Throughout Stages of Trail Development

Friday, June 4, 12:00PM – 1:00PM

Trails, like people, go through several stages of development, each requiring strategies to address the unique characteristics and challenges that a particular phase of the lifecycle presents. What equity and inclusion considerations are important in a trail’s infancy stage? How does the need for partners and fundraising change as the project progresses? What management structures are needed after the trail’s construction? In this session, we will hear from the trail experts of three trails in three different stages of development and will showcase how multi-county trails can connect our most challenged communities and provide mobility options that are environmentally and economically sustainable.

Session Materials:

Planning for Greenways: A Guidebook for New Jersey Communities


Laura Torchio – AICP, Principal, Laura Torchio, LLC

Laura Torchio is a certified planner specializing in active transportation, healthy communities, and placemaking. She is a seasoned facilitator with a forte to inspire thoughtful, creative initiatives and coalitions that strengthen the social, physical, and economic vitality of communities. Her expertise applies to public, private, and not-profit sectors and she passionately believes communities are empowered by zealous civic engagement. She recently launched Laura Torchio, LLC, a woman-owned consultancy focused on working with communities to shape public spaces that foster civic life, belonging, and well-being. In her “free” time, she is a community champion serving on the board of Bike&Walk Montclair.


Debra Kagan – Executive Director, New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition

Debra is an experienced leader and advocate in areas of active transportation, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and access to natural spaces. She currently serves as Executive Director of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition and leads advocacy and community outreach for the proposed Essex-Hudson Greenway project. 

Eleanor V. Horn, Co-President, Lawrence Hopewell Trail

Eleanor V. Horne has served as the Co-President of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail since its inception in 2002 and is a member of the Circuit Trails Steering Committee, the Circuit Trails Mercer County Action Team, a member of the Bike-Ped Task Force of the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, and the East Coast Greenway Alliance Advisory Committee. 

Matt Ludwig, PE, AICP, Senior Engineer & Planner, NV5

Matt is a licensed civil engineer and certified planner with over 13 years’ experience on a wide variety of transportation projects, which includes specialized expertise in the planning, design, and management of bicycle and pedestrian facilities. He has worked for NV5’s Philadelphia office for five years, where he manages active transportation projects throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.  Matt is currently NV5’s project manager for the design and permitting of the Camden County Link Trail, which will be a continuous, 34 mile trail across the heart of Camden County.