Award-Winning Trail and Greenway Projects
Winners have been announced for the 2014 "Annual Achievement Awards" in recognition of outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. The awards ceremony hosted by the Coalition for Recreational Trails was held in Washington, D.C. on June 5, 2012 at U.S. House of Representatives offices.
The awards are part of annual efforts by national trails and outdoor recreation organizations to promote the importance of RTP funding to States across America.
Construction and Design – Local
The project includes a new trailhead that offers parking and an
The City of Chattahoochee is a small rural community of 5,445, nestled on the majestic river bluffs along the beautiful Apalachicola River in north Florida. The community, located within a “Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern,” has been working to enhance eco-tourism opportunities that could provide increased economic activity.
As part of that effort, the City decided to upgrade trails in a local park which contains beautiful, diverse, and in some cases, rare plant life as well as a Native American mound dating back centuries. Under the leadership of volunteers Charles and Anne Thrash, who learned about the RTP and participated in state-provided trail-development training, the project incorporated sustainable and accessible design principles easily from beginning to end.
The completed project, which used $95,145 in 2008 RTP funds and matched it with $63,430 more, involves three trails and a new trailhead within the park’s trail system.
Scenery along The Chattahoochee Nature Trail system
The new trailhead offers parking, an informational kiosk, and a water fountain. The new Muscogee Trail, which leaves from the trailhead, includes a ¼ mile of new hard surface, another ¼ mile of new boardwalk, 1½ miles of new natural surface trail, and a 16-foot wood bridge.
In addition, the existing ½ mile Angus Gholson Trail was renovated and the almost one-mile-long fitness trail was given a more stabilized surface for users of the 20 fitness stations. New rest areas, informational kiosks, interpretive and directional signage were all placed appropriately along the three trails.
The Chattahoochee Nature Trails system now enjoys increased use by both residents and visitors, contributing to local community revitalization while providing a much appreciated health benefit. Based on the project’s success, plans are in the works to enlarge the trails system and eventually connect it to a nearby state park.
Rep. Southerland with the Chattahoochee winners (left) and with Derrick Crandall, President, American Recreation Coalition
For more information:
Elmon Lee Garner, City of Chattahoochee, P. O. Box 188, Chattahoochee, FL 32324. Phone: 850-663-4475.
See the roster of all Annual Awards for Recreational Trails Program projects since 1999, sorted by State and by Award Category