Dear Circuit Supporter,

We invite your Trail or Conservation Non-Governmental Organization to join the Circuit Coalition. Below you will find some more information about what our mission and strategic goals are, and the Benefits and Responsibilities your organization will have if you join the Coalition.

Please review this information about our Coalition. Coalition member are organizations that have some kind of connection with multi-use trails that accommodate all types of users in the nine counties of the Greater Philadelphia region of PA and NJ. Organizations outside of this area can still submit a request, but must demonstrate their connectivity and relevance to the 750 miles of trails that have been already mapped.

If you feel that the interests of your organization align with those of the Coalition, we ask that you email us a letter on your letterhead stating your understanding of the benefits and responsibilities, and formally request that your organization become a part of the Coalition. We would appreciate knowing a little about your organization, its history, governance, and how many members or supporters the organization represents.

The letter must be signed by a representative of your organization that has the formal authority to commit to the responsibilities of being a Circuit Coalition member organization. Please email your letter to

Then – that’s it! A member of the Steering Committee will contact you to confirm your participation!

The Circuit Coalition will advance completion and use of the Circuit Trails, Greater Philadelphia’s multiuse regional trail network, with the goal of making it the best network in the nation.

The Circuit Trails will steadily increase connections amongst PA, NJ and DE; connecting urban populations to rural landscapes, residential neighborhoods to one another and to commercial corridors, recreation sites and other cultural venues.

The Coalition’s mission extends deep into the community, hoping to spur the creation of the current and future stewards of the Circuit; and far into the future, hoping to create enthusiastic support for the use and maintenance of the Circuit for generations to come.

In the next 12 months:

  • Ensure that federal, state and local decision makers in the Greater Philadelphia region hear consistently from key constituencies that trails development helps to transform communities and create strong places, which drives economic development and strengthens residents’ overall quality of life.
  • Finalize an outreach campaign that will help establish long-term revenue sources at the local, regional and federal levels to support the design, engineering and construction of trail projects that will fill in the regional trail network’s priority gaps.
    • Secure funding of $12.5 million per year ($250 million needed over 20 years, given that 450 of the 750 total miles still need to be developed.)
  • Build a diverse coalition of health leaders in PA and NJ who serve as active advocates for completing a regional trail network.
  • Use existing activities in extracurricular programs and other youth groups to educate schoolaged kids about the region’s trails and the opportunities they provide; connect youth to highquality experiences on the trails; and ensure decision-makers understand the important benefits that the trail network provides to the region’s young people.

Coalition membership will have multiple benefits for Member Organizations, including:

  1. All Member Organization employees will be eligible to participate in Circuit Coalition events and meetings – even those not formally open to the general public.
  2. Each Member Organization will receive one single vote to select the members of the Circuit Coalition Steering Committee and on other votes brought to the membership by the Steering Committee
  3. Each Member Organization will be able to make nominations to the Steering Committee
  4. Each Member Organization will receive access to the “back end” of the website, which will be the central clearinghouse for mapping trips and posting trail event information and trail-related blog postings
  5. Each Member Organization will have direct access to the latest Federal, state, and regional trail funding information, and will help direct the campaign to raise the funding goal of $12.5 million per year for 20 years
  6. Each Member Organization will be able to assist the Steering Committee and state and regional governmental agencies in identifying trail development priorities
  7. As part of the Circuit Coalition, each Member Organization will have unmatched access to the leaders in regional trail development, and to multiple other networking opportunities

Each Member Organization will have the following responsibilities:

  1. Exhibit and promote the Circuit Trails logo and the organization’s participation in the Circuit Coalition, including by posting the Circuit Trails logo and map on the organization’s website, by writing articles and blog entries about the Circuit Trails, and by performing presentations about the Circuit
  2. If the organization plans, designs, engineers, or builds segments of trails within the Circuit Trails, it shall include the Circuit Trails logo and a mention of the Circuit Trails in all project communications to the public and in signs at construction sites
  3. Cooperate with the Steering Committee in implementation of the Strategic Goals and Action Items that are selected by the Steering Committee each year
  4. Serve as a point person or member of one or more of the strategy subcommittees, depending on area of expertise and interest.

The Steering Committee will be composed of 11 members, each with a single vote. The members must represent both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and a mix of advocacy organizations, trail owners and operators and funders. The members of the Steering Committee for 2016 will be:

  • Sarah Clark Stuart, representing the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia
  • Valeria Galarza, representing the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership
  • Elissa Garofalo, representing the Delaware & Lehigh Heritage Corridor
  • Karen Thompson, representing the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
  • Patrick Starr, representing the Pennsylvania Environmental Council
  • Chris Linn, representing the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
  • Tom Sexton, representing the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
  • Olivia Glenn, representing New Jersey Conservation Fund
  • Peter Kremmer, representing Lawrence Hopewell Trail
  • Dana Dobson, representing Tri-State Transportation Campaign
  • Andy Hamilton, representing the East Coast Greenway Allliance
  • Robert Thomas, representing Philadelphia Parks Alliance
  • Kay Sykora, representing The Schuylkill Project, Manayunk Development Corp.
  • Elaine Paul Schaefer, representing Schuylkill River National Heritage Area

The Vice Chairs of the Steering Committee for 2016 are Patrick Starr (PA) and Olivia Glenn (NJ). The Chairs / Vice Chairs shall be responsible for advancing the interests of the Circuit Coalition; for convening a monthly meeting / conference call for the Steering Committee; for maintaining communications with the overall Coalition membership; and for convening the full membership meeting on a regular basis.

A full membership meeting will be held on a bi-annual basis.

Thank you!

Sarah Clark Stuart Circuit Coalition Chair