Public multi-use trails systems have endless benefits to our communities. But the path to get to a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new trail can be fraught with challenges. For many trails, the Local Government along with their design team must traverse a sweeping tapestry of planning obstacles, design decisions, federal funding considerations, tight schedules, and even political ramifications. This session will provide examples and encourage discussions on a multitude of common challenges for trails in Central Texas, many of which were faced (and overcome) in one very important mile of the Bushy Creek Regional Trail in Williamson County.
In over a decade that Drew Carmen has been a designer and landscape architect, he has focused primarily on park, trail, and open space planning. Having worked on projects throughout the United States from local urban park developments to state & national parks, Drew has developed a keen knowledge of design principals matched with a real-world understanding of what makes a trail experience a true experience rather than simply a way to get from point A to B.
Before joining RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture in Austin, Texas, Drew was one of the lead park planners for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. While with TPWD, he gained experience developing and updating public use plans, facility development plans, and park master plans for some of Texas’ premier state parks.
As a project manager at RVi, Drew has lead capital parks and trail projects throughout Central Texas including the Brushy Creek Regional Trail in Williamson Co., San Gabriel Park in Georgetown, and McKinney Roughs Nature Preserve in Bastrop.
Drew’s creative energy outside of his passion for Landscape Architecture is put to use as an avid songwriter & musician. He also enjoys cutting, bending & welding any piece of steel he can get his hands on.
Williamson County Commissioner Terry Cook was elected as the first Democrat into Williamson County government since 1992 in 2016. She has served as the Commissioner for Precinct 1 since January 2, 2017. She has relied on lessons learned from contract negotiations in high tech to assist in persuasion in her job as Commissioner. She was a Colorado Master Gardener and earned a certificate in Rocky Mountain Gardening from Denver Botanic Gardens. She is in year 15 of her 5-year plan for Texas.
Commissioner Cook has been recognized as a Central Texas Woman Leader in Transportation by WTS – Heart of Texas Chapter, and is the Commissioner known to write & perform a rap for the ribbon cutting celebration for a long-awaited TxDOT interstate overpass project. She writes parodies, decorates and landscapes, and enjoys new dining experiences.