Good ideas don’t go away. They stick around until they become reality. So it is with trails and open space. Almost every city in America has a desire to improve the livability of their community and trails and open space form a key part of that solution. My initiation with trail projects happened by chance. While serving as a park planner over a 10 year span at the City of Portland, I happened to be assigned a couple of trail projects – the Springwater Corridor and the Eastbank Esplanade, both of which now enjoy household name recognition. As a project type, trails are complex. They require consensus building with the multiple neighborhoods they pass through as well as compliance with multiple regulatory agencies. Done right, trails can enhance the identity of a community, and as a transportation route, they become the means by which people experience the landscape. The challenge of understanding communities around the country, building consensus with people, and playing a hand in implementing a network of sustainable, green infrastructure is a pretty good reason to come to work every morning.
George Hudson is a Professional Landscape Architect in the State of Oregon (#280) with 28 years of experience and is one of the leading trail and bikeway designers in the United States. He has worked exclusively on alternative transportation projects for the past 18 years. He has acquired right-of-ways, master planned over 300 miles of alternative transportation routes, secured in excess of $10 million dollars for development projects, facilitated the public process on hundreds of projects, addressed endangered species issues in conjunction with development projects, successfully negotiated trail rights with railroads, and overseen $35 million dollars of construction. George has a proven record of successfully working on complex projects requiring a multi-disciplinary team approach. His experience has ranged from major urban waterfront esplanades to earthen hiking and ski trails in national forests.