MARCH 28, 2018 PROJECT UPDATE Haines Junction Trails Map and Implementation Plan
Haines Junction Trails Map and Implementation Plan Project Update March 2018
What is this project about again? In 2017/18, the Village of Haines Junction (VHJ) is facilitating a community conversation and planning exercise around local trails – how people use them, which ones are most important, and how to maximize the benefits they bring to everyone.
The final outcome of the project will be the creation of a conceptual plan for a community trail network within the municipal boundaries and an implementation plan outlining costs, partnerships, and timing. The project was scheduled for completion in Spring 2018 but has been extended to the end of the year.
What has happened with the project to date? The planning team, led by Groundswell Planning, hit the ground running in the fall of 2018 with a brief assessment of Haines Junction area trails. The objective was to develop a “ground up” perspective of issues and opportunities, as well as to fine tune the trail mapping inventory that was completed for VHJ last year.
With preliminary maps prepared, team engagement leads Courtney Quinn and John Glynn-Morris set out to have a series of conversations with the Haines Junction community about trails starting in mid-November. These conversations included:
Online survey with accompanying social media promotions
3 focus groups with Haines Junction community organizations
2 interactive booths at community events (Christmas Craft Fair and the Mountain Festival)
Workshop with students at St. Elias Community School
Will there be another chance for the community to have its say? Yes. Once all the information and input from various partners is at hand, the planning team will work with the Community Development Committee to create a draft plan that reflects both the community’s aspirations and best practices in trail management. The draft plan will go back out to the community for review before final recommendations go to Council.
For more information or if you would like to connect and discuss the project: Jane Koepke, Project Manager/Planner Jane of all Trades Tel: (867) 335-3346 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
> What is this project about? In 2017/18, the Village of Haines Junction (VHJ) is facilitating a community conversation and planning exercise around local trails – how people use them, which ones are most important, and how to maximize the benefits they bring to everyone. The final outcome of the project will be the creation of a conceptual plan for a community trail network within the municipal boundaries and an implementation plan outlining costs, partnerships, and timing. The project will wrap up this Spring.
> Why is the project happening now? The idea of mapping, sharing, and planning trails for both residents and visitors has been discussed in Haines Junction for many years. The 2013 Community Recreation Survey found that a strong majority of residents prefer to recreate outdoors and trail-based activities are popular. The 2015-2024 Community Recreation Plan committed to “create a multi-use, designated, interconnected and signed trail network” and “create and promote active connections between recreation and community destinations”.
> Who is managing the project and who makes decisions? The Village has hired a planning team led by Jane of all Trades to collect government and community input and work with VHJ’s Community Development Committee (CDC) to develop options. CDC will make its recommendations for the network concept and implementation plan to the Village Council. Champagne and Aishihik First Nations will be the sole decision maker for any trails located on Settlement Lands and be involved in the development of the network concept as well.
> How will the community have their say? The planning team will be working to gather input from Haines Junction residents and community groups involved with trail recreation in a variety of ways – including meetings, online surveys, and public events - from November 2017 to January 2018. The team will work to ensure community input is reflected in the recommendations that go to Council, and provide feedback on how that input influenced the final decision.
> Does this mean that Haines Junction is getting new trails? Not necessarily. Planning isn’t just about building new trails, but also about making better use of the trails that already exist. We will work to develop a concept that reflects the community’s vision for a great trail network. If part of that vision includes new trails, the Village and its partners will have to consider capacity before making commitments.
> What are other municipalities doing around trails, and how will that influence what happens in Haines Junction? Over the past decade, there has been an increasing trend for trails to be treated as a community recreation asset, similar to parks, playgrounds, and indoor facilities. More local governments are including trails in their planning, management and maintenance efforts. However, many small communities still do not manage or maintain trails at all. There is no one “right” way for municipalities to deal with local trails. Some municipalities have well planned and maintained networks and rules about what types of trail users can use certain trails. Other municipalities have unplanned networks with little to no rules at all – similar to Haines Junction today. The planning team will work with the community to pinpoint the right approach for Haines Junction, while drawing from best practices elsewhere. This project is about creating a “made in Haines Junction” approach to local trails that reflects community values and available financial and human resources.