Sunday, September 26th, 2021

HARTA named Outstanding Trail Group

Posted: Friday, October 9, 2020

The Huntington Area Recreational Trails Association (HARTA) was named Outstanding Trail Group by the Indiana Greenways Foundation at their annual luncheon on September 24. The award is given annually by the foundation to recognize a trail advocacy group with “passionate members” who employ “creative strategies” to achieve “real success in expanding Indiana’s burgeoning trail network.”

Eric Bruce, president of the HARTA board of directors, said of the award, “We are honored to receive this statewide recognition from the Indiana Greenways Foundation, which is the leading non-profit trail organization in Indiana. It testifies to the hard work and dedication of the HARTA members and volunteers who have labored tirelessly over the years to promote trail development and trail use in Huntington County.”

HARTA was founded in 2014 with a mission to help develop Huntington area multi-use trails and greenways for public use, and to engage in funding and fundraising in support of that mission. Recent community-wide trail programs include Walk with a Doc, HARTA Frigid Encounter, National Opening Day of Trails and HARTA-ween Zombie Dash.

The annual Huntington Trails Beer and Wine Festival serves as a major fundraiser for the organization. These events seek to encourage public use of Huntington’s trail network and to promote general health and wellness.

“The trails in Huntington County are an incalculable asset for our community,” Bruce said. “They are used daily by hundreds of community members and they attract numerous visitors from neighboring counties in the northeast Indiana region. The award from Indiana Greenways Foundation signifies that community development leaders throughout Indiana have taken notice of Huntington’s progress toward inclusion in the state’s fast-growing, interconnected trail system.”

Current members of the HARTA board of directors are Eric Bruce, president; Janelle Maxwell Pflieger, vice president; Steve Hackler, treasurer and Kelly Frank, secretary. Board members include Jodi Coblentz, Evan Frank, Robert Blackham, Caroline Runyan, Nick Hancock, Jim Lewis, Brooks Fetters, Jeff Webb and Bridgett Harrell.

In the photo at the top are Dawn Ritchie, of the City of Fort Wayne’s Greenways Foundation of Indiana, presents a plaque to HARTA president Eric Bruce. HARTA was named Outstanding Trail Group by the Greenways foundation on September 24.