Award-Winning Trail and Greenway Projects
Learn more about the Recreational Trails Program
The 2015 "Annual Achievement Awards" are selected 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 10, 2015 at the 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.
Awards for Outstanding State Recreational Trails Advisory Committee and Outstanding State Trail Program are chosen by members of the National Association of State Park Directors, which is particularly appropriate because, in most states, the state park agency administers the RTP. We greatly appreciate the assistance of both the NASPD’s Awards Committee, chaired by Kris Marek, Director of Oklahoma State Parks, and NASPD’s Executive Director Lewis Ledford.
Outstanding State Trail Program
In Washington State, the Recreation and Conservation Office, or RCO, administers the RTP. The RCO uses an enterprise database system to accept applications and to monitor funded projects as they proceed to completion. And the process is transparent. Anyone can access almost all project information, including project specific details, status, financial award and reimbursement information, and more.
Washington’s RTP Advisory Committee serves as the program’s evaluation panel for grant applications. Key to the committee’s work are the criteria adopted by the state’s Recreation and Conservation Funding Board in an open public meeting. Those criteria are designed to ensure that RTP funds address specific statewide needs and priorities.
RTP grants are awarded by the Funding Board in another open public meeting. The state complements this open process by paying special attention to fiscal accountability.
The state also keeps an eye on the overall funding process to ensure that every dollar is put to use. One hundred percent of the funds are obligated. Unfunded projects are readily available for implementation if a completed project comes in under budget, freeing up precious RTP dollars.
The RCO also works closely with the members of its Advisory Committee to ensure that the grant process is fair and ethical and benefits a wide variety of trail users. Not only are different trail user groups represented but also representatives of state and federal land management agencies.
Like Montana, Washington is administering the RTP in a manner that brings credit both to itself at the state level and to the RTP at the national level. And so it is with great pleasure that we present the RTP Achievement Award for state trail programs to the State of Washington.
For more information:
Washington State Parks trails program: http://www.rco.wa.gov/grants/rtp.shtml