GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - If you want to influence the future of a more walkable and bikeable Mesa County, the inaugural Walking and Biking Trails Summit is the place to do it. Set for Friday, March 8, the brand-new gathering will incorporate both speakers and an open forum at the Two Rivers Convention Center from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walk-in participation is welcome, and the cost is $15 at the door. The donation will cover breakfast, lunch and a snack.According to Dave Grossman, the coordinator for the Grand Valley Trail Alliance, he wants the forum to have lots of interaction between leaders and attendees on the topic of Grand Valley recreation paths. "Experts are coming, and we want to hear what the community has to say about the subject," Grossman added.Participants will discuss how "to help develop urban paths and trails that will improve safety and increase access to recreational trails for all," a news release said. Plus, it will engage everyone in conversations about how recreational trails influence a community's "health, safety and prosperity.""It's an effort to highlight and better understand the importance of trails in the urban envelope," Grossman said. "We'll talk about the economic impacts and importance of trails, and how they contribute to healthier, more livable community."At the conclusion of the summit, a report will be drawn up to publish findings of the day-long conversation. It will be given to representatives and elected officials, as well as posted online.Though Grossman said the Grand Valley is already very walkable and bikeable, he wants to further enhance that and have it be a priority for the community."Right now we don't have walkable, bikeable east/west corridors," Grossman added. "There's north/south shortcomings, too. If we want to strive to be the most livable community west of the Rockies, this is a great tool."Grossman also noted widespread community support for Friday's event - St. Mary's Hospital, Community Hospital, the City of Grand Junction, the Grand Valley Trails Alliance, Grand Valley Bikes, the Urban Trails Committee, the Regional Transportation Planning Office, the Colorado Riverfront Commission, All Metals Welding and Fabrication, the City of Fruita, the Town of Palisade, Colorado Mesa University and the Mesa County Health Department."It is our intention to hold the event every year and based on the registrations, the community is very excited about the event," he said. "Our early thinking for next year's event is to focus on the recreational trails on public lands. This should engage an even larger community."For more information, visit www.trailsummit.com.