Indiana trail, volunteer group honored at regional conference

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the Friends of Griffin Bike Park group earned accolades at a recent regional trails conference.

The Mid America Trails and Greenways (MATAG) conference was held on May 13-16 in Columbus, Ohio. The conference celebrates an outstanding trail project and trail advocate or group from each of nine Midwestern states.

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail won Outstanding Trail Project for Indiana. The trail has helped attract new businesses, raised property values, added recreational and active transportation opportunities to downtown, and provided a venue for public art.

“The 8-mile, multi-use trail has proven to be an asset to residents and visitors alike as well as a model for trail systems across the country,” said Amy Marisavljevic, streams and trails section chief with the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation.

The award for Outstanding Trail Group in Indiana went to the Friends of Griffin Bike Park for its work on the award-winning Griffin Bike Park. Logging more than 16,000 volunteer hours, the group helped develop 16 miles of trail and numerous skill areas. They also raised more than $1.6 million and worked with multiple organizations to secure more than 1,100 volunteers.

Staff from the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation nominated the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and Friends of Griffin Bike Park. The division’s goal is to promote outdoor recreation in Indiana. It works with state and local agencies, park departments, outdoor recreation organizations, non-profits, concerned citizens, businesses, and federal representatives to help increase and improve recreational opportunities.

Presenting at the conference was Paul Arlinghaus, president of the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association. Arlinghaus was invited to speak about how Brown County has grown into a major destination for mountain biking.

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