Expanding Countywide Trail System Is The Focus Of August 15th Building Ulster County Together Breakfast

Posted August 3, 2016

Cynthia Nikitin, leader in “place-based” community planning and design is featured speaker 

Kingston, NY — At the next Building Ulster County Together Breakfast, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein is pleased to welcome Cynthia Nikitin, Senior Vice President from the Project for Public Spaces, to discuss the benefits of the County’s growing trail system. The breakfast will be held from 7:30 – 9:30 AM on Monday, August 15th at the Best Western Plus in Kingston. Cynthia – a part-time Ulster County resident for the past 20 years – will share examples of successful trail systems and will explain what it takes to capitalize on trails as engines of economic growth.

“Ulster County is a place of striking scenic beauty, and our outdoor recreational resources are unparalleled in the region,” explained Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “That’s why tourism spending in Ulster County is above the statewide average,” he continued. “But in order to stay at the top, we need to continue to strive to create the best possible experience for visitors – we need to make it easy, fun, and engaging for people coming to Ulster County to discover all that we have to offer,” he added.

The County Executive has initiated an ambitious, multi-year trail development effort aimed at connecting existing trail corridors to create a seamless, county-wide trail network. When completed, the system will connect the Walkway Over the Hudson to the heart of the Catskill Mountains, link Ellenville to Kingston along the Rondout Valley, and will provide visitors a unique way to experience the County’s rich and varied attractions.

“Across the country, communities are learning that trails can be more than just a nice place to take a stroll,” explained Suzanne Holt, the County’s Director of Economic Development. “This event will bring together businesses and trail groups, land trusts and community leaders, to encourage a county-wide dialogue about how we can make the most of our existing trails and how we can continue to grow our County’s tourism sector so that all of our communities benefit,” added Holt.

The breakfast will feature a presentation by Cynthia Nikitin, a part-time Ulster County resident and Senior Vice President at the NYC-based firm Project for Public Spaces. Ms. Nikitin is a self-described advocate for "placemaking" as an approach to community planning and urban design. During her twenty-five years with Project for Public Spaces, she has led many large-scale and multi-sector projects that have transformed communities across the globe. Cynthia serves as director of the Citizens' Institute on Rural Design™, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts to provide design assistance to small towns across the United States. She also manages the Heart of the Community program, a partnership with Southwest Airlines to create transformative public spaces that spark social, economic and environmental benefits in communities across the country.

This breakfast is sponsored by the Ulster County Executive, the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance and the Project for Public Spaces.  Tickets are available online at http://ulstercountyny.gov/summer-2016-breakfast. Registration cost is $20 and includes breakfast. Anyone who is unable to pay online with a credit card may register by calling the Ulster County Office of Economic Development at (845) 340-3556 or emailing oed[at]co.ulster.ny[dot]us. Online registration closes on Monday, August 8th.

The Ulster County Economic Development Alliance (UCEDA) supports the promotion of Ulster County as the premier location to expand and grow business for the creation of wealth, fostering strong, sustainable, diverse economic opportunities for Ulster County and its communities.  UCEDA works to support retention and growth of businesses.  UCEDA provides financial support, marketing, facilitation of capacity building and infrastructure programs and collaboration with community, regional, state, and municipal partners and leaders.

Building Ulster County Together is a quarterly breakfast series for Ulster County business, nonprofit and community leaders, sponsored by Ulster County Executive Michael P. Hein and UCEDA. The series features guest speakers with diverse perspectives who are helping to Build a Better Ulster County. For more information on UCEDA’s upcoming events, visit http://ulstercountyny.gov/economic-development/ulster-county-economic-development-alliance.

The Ulster County Economic Development Alliance is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.