Fairfax County, Virginia is the pilot project from 1 January 2015.
The problem: Fairfax County Park Authority considers stream trails to be “informal” trails that are not maintained at taxpayer, and further considers any improvements constructed by homeowners, biking clubs, churches, or others, to be “encroachments” subject to immediate destruction at taxpayer expense.
The solution: Hybrid Governance is a form of governance in which all elements of the community have standing and contribute in their own way, instead of standing aside for the formal government structure in isolation. In the case of Stream Trails, we seek to combine volunteer labor; financial support from homeowners and Homeowner Associations bordering on park areas; and legal, safety, and data support from established government elements such as Park Authorities. This will elevate Stream Trails to co-equal status with existing formal park trails. They will be maintained by volunteers, with footbridges and horsebridges inspected and repaired — and new bridges built as needed and approved — at the expense of individual sponsors.
As quickly as possible, once the pilot is fully developed, we hope to see this web site adopted by others across the country. Our intent is to organize the site so that each County has its own website and database (e.g. http://fairfax.streamtrails.org) while administration is provided for the whole from one location.