Award-Winning Trail and Greenway Projects
The award winners were recognized at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2009 at the U.S. House of Representatives Rayburn House Office Building.
Environment and Wildlife Compatibility
Dedicating the new Highbridge Park trail system with partner groups
A 2005 RTP award was utilized to create bicycle trails at Highbridge Park in New York City, marking the first time that bicycles have been allowed in New York City parks since 1991. The project was completed in 2007. The standards recommended by the International Mountain Bicycling Association convinced the City's Department of Parks and Recreation that professionally designed mountain bike trails could be built and maintained in New York City parks.
Highbridge Park was chosen as it was seen as underused for recreation and had long been a draw for illegal activities. At the same time, the recreational needs of the neighborhood youth were being underserved, increasing their long-term health risks and the costs for the city. Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists (CLIMB) decided to not only focus on mountain bike trails, but also on BMX facilities, to increase the community’s connectivity to the park.
The result has been a resounding success. Since the construction began on the trails, some 1200 hypodermic needles and truckloads of trash have been removed, neighborhood children have been enlisted as park caretakers, trail design has protected sensitive areas and work parties have removed invasive species.
Building the BMX riding area
Most of the trail work was done by the Green Apple Corps along with the many volunteers who made it all possible. Supervising the youth workers and volunteers was Michael Vitti, President of CLIMB. Green Apple Corps is a division of AmeriCorps that works in New York City parks exclusively.
The program has since expanded to several other New York City parks, with IMBA-affiliate club CLIMB opening trails in Cunningham Park in Queens, and IMBA-affiliate club NYCMTB (New York City Mountain Bike Association) partnering with NYARA (New York Adventure Racing Association) to open trails in Wolfe's Pond Park on Staten Island.
Inner-city kids have benefitted most from the trails
Trail along the rock face
The Recreational Trails Program
See details of more than 20,000 projects on the RTP database: www.recreationaltrailsinfo.org
See State by State list of all Recreational Trails Program Awards with links to individual award web pages