Award-Winning Trail and Greenway Projects
Winners of the Annual Achievement Awards are recognized for outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program funds. The award winners were recognized in Washington, D.C. on June 15, 2011 at the U.S. House of Representatives Rayburn Office Building, during the annual celebration of Great Outdoors Week. The awards are sponsored by the Coalition for Recreational Trails.
Learn more about the Recreational Trails Program
Youth Conservation/Service Corps Award
Trail building machines at work on the trail
In 2009, a trail ribbon cutting was celebrated for Anchorage’s first system of soft-surface, narrow trails sustainably built for mountain bikes and foot traffic. Seven and a half miles of singletrack trails were planned, designed, and constructed in the city’s Far North Bicentennial Park, thanks to the outstanding efforts of Singletrack Advocates and Alaska Trails, the lead proponents for the project. These two organizations worked together to secure all funding, manage all phases, hire professional contractors, and supervise every aspect of trail planning, design, and construction.
To fund trail design and construction, a Recreational Trails Program grant of $50,000 was awarded and an additional $129,000 was provided by other granting agencies. Volunteer hours and local government and private donations from generous individuals and organizations brought in nearly an additional $100,000. The National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program provided technical expertise for planning, permitting, and construction oversight. Numerous community members donated over 600 hours of volunteer time on the project.
Youth crews from the Municipality of Anchorage’s Youth Employment in Parks (YEP) Program and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) were utilized for hand labor and finish work on the trails. To be sure the trails were built to a professional standard and that the youth obtained the proper training necessary to do a safe and professional job, Alaska Trails, the statewide trails nonprofit, trained the YEP Crew.
Youth service corps crews on the job
SCA sent a top-notch, well-trained and experienced crew and Singletrack Advocates did an amazing job of coordinating both youth trail crews. Those crews helped complete nearly eight miles of hand-tool finish work on Anchorage’s hillside. The finish work by both youth crews was outstanding.
As a result of this effort, a system of singletrack mountain bike trails is now in place that meets national sustainability standards, with loops and other features to take advantage of the natural landscape and provide variation to trail users. Today, the new trail system is popular not only with mountain bikers, but also with cross-country skiers, snowshoers, dog-walkers, runners, and hikers of all ages. And the youth crews from Anchorage’s Youth Employment in Parks and the Student Conservation Association were given a wonderful opportunity to make a real difference on the ground and in their lives.
For more information:
National Park Service, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, 240 West 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. Phone: 907-644-3586
The Coalition for Recreational Trails, a national organization representing the nation's major trail interests, has been working since 1992 to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program, to support its implementation and to help insure that it receives adequate funding. The Annual Achievement Awards are part of the Coalition's ongoing effort to promote and celebrate this highly successful program, which has greatly enhanced the quantity and quality of trail experiences available to the public.
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). See the FHWA website for more information. Federal transportation funds benefit recreation by making funds available to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from nonhighway recreational fuel use: fuel used for off-highway recreation by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, and off-highway light trucks.
See the roster of all Annual Awards for Recreational Trails Program projects since 1999, sorted by State and by Award Category