Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
May 2010

Trail Tracks is the monthly e-Newsletter from American Trails. Check the topics below for links to the world's most comprehensive online source for planning, designing, building, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails and greenways.

Spring is the time many people start thinking about getting out on trails. It’s also a great time to publicize your projects and accomplishments. See who is hosting a trail event in your area or consider a National Trails Day or other celebration on your pathway project.

Special thanks to the sponsor of this issue:
MaxiForce Traffic Control Bollards

In This Issue

American Trails MagazineAMERICAN TRAILS MAGAZINE ~ HOT OFF THE PRESS!
Read the Spring issue of the American Trails Magazine online

20th AMERICAN TRAILS NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM: November 14-17, 2010 ~ Chattanooga, TN

ALERTS

NEWS

FEATURES

TRAINING & EDUCATION

NEW RESOURCES

JOIN THE AMERICAN TRAILS NETWORK

QUICK LINKS

American Trails Magazine

American Trails MagazineRead the Spring issue of the American Trails Magazine online

The American Trails Magazine, now in digital format, brings you timely, state-of-the-art information on all aspects of trails and greenways. We cover news, legislation, action items, trainings, success stories, events, people making a difference, creative funding ideas, the latest resources, information on products and services you need, and much more! Members receive a hard copy of the magazine. Join today! Read the Spring issue now…

 

20th AMERICAN TRAILS NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM: November 14-17, 2010 ~ Chattanooga, TN

Online registration for the American Trails National Symposium coming soon

Mark your calendars! Beginning May 15th online registration will be open for the 2010 American Trails National Symposium, November 14-17.  Recognizing that budgets are tight, the American Trails Board has once again decided to keep the registration rates the same as the last two Symposiums (and lower in some categories), and will not be raising the rates this year. Remember, American Trails members receive a substantial discount on the registration package. Not an American Trails member yet? Now is the perfect time to join!Join now… andview the Registration page for rates…

Every state can be recognized as part of the National Trails Awards

The goal of two categories of the National Trails Awards is to honor an individual from every state in America. One person from each state is eligible to win a Trail Advocacy Award and a Trail Worker Award. The Trail Advocacy Award recognizes outstanding efforts to influence public policy relating to trails and greenways, while the Trail Worker Award recognizes key support for trail planning, development, or maintenance. The deadline for nominations is June 30, 2010. See all the award categories and download the nomination form...

Developer Recognition Award focuses on community trail systems

In addition to the National Trails Awards, American Trails also recognizes quality, well-designed multi-use trail systems that are integrated into private developments to encourage active lifestyles, reduce reliance on automobiles, connect the development to other public and private pathways and destinations, and preserve and promote natural areas. Download the 2010 Developer Recognition Award criteria and application (pdf 100 kb)andview photos and details of the 2008 Developer Recognition Award winners…

Sponsorship opportunities for the American Trails National Symposium

Being a sponsor of the 20th American Trails National Symposium is your best opportunity to network with the nationwide trails community and maximize your visibility and message. Sponsorship opportunities are available for an event or Symposium item. We expect to sell out, so get in early for the best recognition opportunities! Please support our Symposium Sponsors and learn about sponsorship opportunities...

Exhibitors: save 10% on your contract until July 31

Exhibitors can save 10% if they send in their contracts by July 31, 2010. Benefits of coming in early as an exhibitor include choosing a booth location in the order your contract is received (some exceptions may apply) and being linked immediately to our sponsors’ web page.  See extensive details of exhibitor levels and benefits…

A wide variety of trail projects and field trips await Symposium attendees

The conference location in downtown Chattanooga is within easy walking distance of the Tennessee Riverpark Greenway and the Tennessee River Blueway. Mobile Workshops will enable Symposium attendees to visit other trails that meet their specific educational interests. Articles on featured trails highlight some of the many projects in Chattanooga and the Tennessee-Georgia-Alabama vicinity that are worth a visit. See the Symposium home page for details and links…

Chattanooga hotel information for the Symposium is now online

Three convenient and comfortable hotels will host the Symposium in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Chattanooga Marriott Hotel is conveniently connected to the Convention Center and the Staybridge Suites hotel is located right next door. The other host hotel, the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, is within walking distance. We encourage you to make reservations early, as there are a limited number of rooms at the rates provided. See hotel details and reservation information...

Featured Chattanooga area project: Enterprise South Nature Park

Miles of walking paths, bikeways, off-road biking, and horse trails will be featured on a recycled ammunition plant near Chattanooga. Enterprise South Nature Park is one of Hamilton County’s newest and most prized public properties. Set to open in October 2010, the 2,800 plus wooded acres will offer visitors a rare opportunity to explore land that has been heavily protected and largely left to flourish in its natural state for over 80 years. Read more…

 

ALERTS

Help the Coalition for Recreational Trails save the Recreational Trails Program!

As a member of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT), American Trails urges organizations and agencies of every size and interest to become a Supporter of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). As Congress develops the next national surface transportation program, the CRT urges the following modifications to the RTP. View and download the "RTP Information Sheet" as a pdf. Letters will be sent on an ongoing basis to Congress members and key members of the Administration. To date, 269 organizations have signed on to the first support letter (sent to key Congress members). CRT would like to have over 500 organizations sign-on as Supporters. Every state and every trail activity benefits from the Recreational Trails Program, and we need your support!Please pass the word on through your networks…

Stay connected on funding opportunities, legislation, and policy issues critical to trails

American Trails “Supporting Trails” web pages include economic stimulus opportunities, such as the newly released TIGER II funding and the new HUD land-use aid grants that can benefit walking and bicycling infrastructure - particularly as it relates to transit. Stay up-to-date on the Active Community Transportation Act (ACT Act of 2010), bills in Congress, news of federal agency and outdoor recreation budgets, and the next phase of Highway Trust Fund programs, which funds the Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, and others important to trails. Please join our efforts to document the value of trails and bicycle/pedestrian facilities as transportation infrastructure, and be an active and positive voice in the reauthorization process, economic stimulus proposals, and Federal land management agency budgets. We continuously add news and action items to these pages. Check back often and forward this link on through your networks…

Make plans to host or attend a National Trails Day event, June 5

Since 1993, National Trails Day has encouraged people to celebrate trails on the first Saturday in June. More than 1,100 events were registered with the American Hiking Society in 2007. Greater awareness of trails across America was brought through dedications, hikes, bike and horse rides, paddle trips, trail maintenance, and many other activities. Event hosts included local hiking clubs, federal agencies, municipal parks, retailers, and land trusts. Read more about National Trails Day…

May is National Bike Month: promote your trails and bikeways

May provides many opportunities to promote bicycling. Besides Bike Month, there is Bike-to-Work Week from May 17-21 and Bike-to-Work Day on Friday, May 21.The League of American Bicyclists has more ideas…

FHWA seeks to recognize and publicize outstanding transportation initiatives

Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives are an award project of the Federal Highway Administration. The goal is to make things better for people when they use our nation's transportation system, while remaining conscious of any natural environmental consequences. Categories include, “Encouraging Non-motorized Transportation” and “Enhancing the Environment for Human Activities.” See examples and the call for nominations…

US DOT releases Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation

The United States DOT is providing this Policy Statement to reflect the department’s support for the development of fully integrated active transportation networks. The establishment of well connected walking and bicycling networks is an important component for livable communities, and their design should be a part of Federal-aid project developments. Walking and bicycling foster safer, more livable, family friendly communities, promote physical activity and health, and reduce vehicle emissions and fuel use.Read the policy…

NCA seeks land managers with trails to participate in national study

The National Center on Accessibility (NCA) is seeking land managers with pedestrian trails in public parks, forests, and other recreation areas to participate in a national study on the accessibility of various types of soil stabilization products. This is the second of a four phase national trails study conducted by the National Center on Accessibility at Indiana University with support from the U.S. Access Board. For those interested in participating in the study or who would like additional information, click here to learn more…

 

NEWS

President Obama launches inititative to develop a 21st century strategy for America's Great Outdoors

American Trails attended the historic White House Conference on America's Great Outdoors held on April 16 in Washington DC. Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior; and Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture led the conference, which addressed the challenges, opportunities, and innovations surrounding modern-day land conservation and the importance of reconnecting Americans and American families to the outdoors. Read more and learn how you can join the conversation…  

Washington, DC gears up for Great Outdoors Month 2010

A coalition of outdoor recreation leaders has once again asked the President, the state governors, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia to proclaim June as Great Outdoors Month. The proclamation of June as Great Outdoors Month in America is especially appropriate this year as we see nationwide attention being given to promoting active time outside as a key to better health, better education, and support for conservation causes. Read more from American Recreation Coalition…

Baton Rouge, Louisiana tackles challenges to greenway projects

The Capital Area Pathways Project (CAPP) was created in 2007 to identify routes and create trails in response to a demand shown in a survey of city-parish residents, which identified biking and walking trails as the No. 1 recreational activity they would like to see in the parish. With $4.2 million in funding, BREC has delivered in part by investing $2.1 million in trails within existing community parks such as Anna T. Jordan, City Park, and Wampold Park. But as for greenways, CAPP is still idling in neutral. Read more…

Fulfilling a vision: biking 250 miles of the Bay Trail in five days

Last September, Stephanie and Tim Reed biked out their Oakland front door and pedaled to the Bay Trail. For the last 21 years there has been a continuous effort to create the 500-mile hiking and biking trail along the shoreline of the San Francisco Bay, linking the area’s nine counties. With 298 miles completed, the trail is a work in progress with pieces added in chunks. Read more…

NY-PA trail blends recreation and conservation goals

When they decided they had a common interest in creating recreational trails, two professors determined it was time to band together and along with others to blaze a 230-mile path connecting Williamsport, P.A. and Rochester, N.Y. "We talked about the synergy between his (Kerkeslager's) work in the Genesee Wilds Association and my work which I call the 'Rochester Greenway,'" Schull said. "We realized the two sections we had been focusing on were the two end points of this project." Read more…

Google Maps adds bike trails March 2010: how about horse trails?

Google began adding bike-riding trails to its Google Maps online geography resource feature on March 10. Google Maps offers biking trails for many locations across the United States. Will horseback riding trails be added as well? Many biking trails also accommodate equestrians, but plenty of other routes do not allow horses. Read more…

FEATURES

Rio Grande Trail Corridor study focuses on surfacing options

This report sorts through the various choices for the most "economical and sustainable" types of trail surfacing options along the proposed Rio Grande Trail Corridor from Belen to Sunland Park, New Mexico. Prepared by Anasazi Trails, Inc. for New Mexico State Parks, the study covers considerations of anticipated trail use, visitor expectation, management strategy, and long-term operating costs. Details of alternative surfacing products and crushed aggregate surfacing are also included. Read the full report with photos…

Planning trails for Hidden Valley Park Natural Area

A planning team was formed to address the planning of a system of trails and off-road vehicle routes in Hidden Valley Park Natural Area in Kansas City. Big Muddy Workshop, Inc. was selected to develop a master plan for the natural area, including a new sustainable trail system, and to develop a manual to guide park staff and volunteers through the construction process of the trails. Developing a trail system that allowed volunteer participation in the construction and maintenance of the trail is an important component. Read more and see photos… 

East Bay Regional Park District and Kaiser Permanente sponsor "Trails Challenge"

The goal of the challenge was to increase the awareness of trails in the East Bay of San Francisco and encourage use. To deliver this message, EBRPD sought the assistance of the health-minded corporation Kaiser Permanente (KP) of Northern California. KP is an integrated managed care organization based in Oakland, California. It is the nation's biggest health maintenance organization. KP places strong emphasis on preventative care in order to reduce health costs later on. Read more and see photos…

Featured National Recreation Trail: Congaree River Blue Trail, South Carolina

Starting near Columbia, this 50-mile water trail and greenway ranges from urban adventures to the Coastal Plain with its high bluffs and floodplain habitats. One of the highlights of the trail is the section along the Congaree National Park; a protected wilderness that is home to the largest continuous tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest in the U.S. Paddlers and hikers alike can enjoy the network of 20-miles of hiking trails within the park. See photos and read more…

Highway extension evolves into park, bridge, and trail project

During the planning for the extension of State Highway 161, Texas DOT determined that the most feasible alignment through the city of Grand Prairie would require conversion of approximately 10 acres of existing city park land. The highway project became mired in litigation and TxDOT proposed a settlement to mitigate the park impact by acquiring 62 acres of additional land and to provide $10 million dollars in park improvements and amenities, concentrating on a linear trail connecting C.P. Waggoner Park to Mike Lewis Park, approximately 1 mile north of the affected park. Read more and see photos…

Read more articles, studies, and resources…

TRAINING & EDUCATION

American Trails offers workshops on trails training for local hosts

We have identified several key areas where more resources are needed: accessible trails, assessing trails, trail crew leadership, developing a State training program, and working with developers. These educational workshops are available for your agency or nonprofit organization. Each workshop can be coordinated with a state trails conference or other training event, held as a single event, or held as a series in different locations. See the current list of workshops…

IMBA Trailbuilding Schools provide dozens of training sessions across America

International Mountain Bicycling Association and Subaru host Trail Care Crew programs in many locations. They combine interactive learning, hands-on trail work, and top-notch instructors to develop skilled trail workers and trail work leaders. Topics covered include: sustainable trail design, basic construction, trail reroutes, rockwork, fostering volunteer clubs and partnerships, and effective use of signage. Read more about IMBA educational programs…

Backcountry Horsemen "Leave No Trace" Trainer Programs

The idea was based on the belief that Backcountry Horsemen members were the most qualified to teach Leave No Trace principles and practices to stock users. As the program developed it was realized that if BCHA was to become the primary provider for LNT training to stock users our state organizations, affiliates, local units, and chapters had to become a primary provider as well. Read more…

National Trails Training Partnership: your link to training and education

American Trails is working with agencies and organizations across America to promote trail related training. The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trails advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. The goal of the Partnership is to work with agencies and trails organizations that are involved in education to make training more available.  See more resources for training and education…

Online Training Calendar covers wide variety of trails training

We are constantly updating the online calendar of workshops, seminars, and important conferences, all related to trails and organizational development. Staff as well as volunteers will find educational opportunities for trail planning, development, and management skills. See details on these and many more training sessions, and be sure to let us know if you are sponsoring a trail-related training. See the Online Training Calendar…

2010:

  • May 14-15: Tread Lightly! Master Trainer Course - Rancho Cordova, CA
  • May 14-16: Trail Building and Crew Leader Training - Galena Creek Park, Lake Tahoe, CA
  • May 14-16: High Cascade Forest Volunteers Trail Skills College - Oakridge, OR
  • May 15-17: International Ciclovia – Car Free Sunday Study Tour - Guadalajara, Mexico
  • May 18-20: River Management Society and National Association of Recreation Resource Planners - Portland, OR
  • May 18-20: Horsemanship Techniques Course - Missoula, MT
  • May 20-23: Subaru/IMBA New England Trailbuilders School - Pittsfield, MA
  • May 22-23: Basic Trail Skills Training - Beulah, CO
  • May 24-28: National Landscape Conservation System Science Symposium - Albuquerque, NM
  • May 27: Basic Maintenance Skills Session - White Mountains, NH
  • May 29-30: Professional Grant Proposal Writing Workshop - Las Vegas, NV
  • Nov. 14-17, 2010 — 20th American Trails National Symposium: Chattanooga, TN - Read more...
NEW RESOURCES

Photo gallery: Trails crossing under active railroad lines and bridges

Crossing a railroad can be a difficult challenge for trail builders. Fears of liability supply an increased anxiety. However crossing under railroad tracks is similar to crossing under a highway. In fact, engineering a crossing under one or two tracks is much easier than going under a six or eight lane freeway. See photos and examples…

Restoration of multi-use trail system in Sam Houston National Forest

Sam Houston Multiple Use Trail System is an 85-mile network used by both motorized and non-motorized trail users and is located within an hour drive of Houston. This trail system has been used for decades and consists mainly of user made trails. The long years of use, combined with ineffective maintenance, and some trails being poorly located or constructed, resulted in some major restoration needs. Read more and see photo…

Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land from American Horse Council

In recent years a reduction of trails, trailheads, and the closure of federal lands to horses and pack animals has been a growing concern for recreational riders around the country. There is a clear feeling among recreational riders that access to trails historically open to equestrians is being lost and a bias against equestrians by land managers is more prevalent. However there is a lack of specific information including, but not limited to, detailed examples, data on the scope of the problem, and causes for this trend. Read the full report…

Measuring and monitoring trail use: Survey of State and Federal trail managers

The goal of this study was to better understand the extent of trail use monitoring and to assess the application of mechanical and electronic counting devices in trail planning and management. It is widely recognized that accurate information regarding the amount, type, and distribution of trail use is critical in making informed planning and management decisions, and in understanding the full range of benefits trails provide to individuals and communities. Read the full report…

Guide to establishing a Safe Routes to School state network

State Network Projects help the federal Safe Routes to School programs succeed by identifying viable projects for funding, helping fully commit available SRTS funds, and leveraging additional resources. Goals are to increase the number of children walking and bicycling to schools, to facilitate the implementation of the federal SRTS program, and institutionalize state level SRTS programs so they are not dependant on and do not end after one short burst of funding.  Read more…

Read more articles, studies, and resources…

JOIN THE AMERICAN TRAILS NETWORK

Help American Trails fight for funding and support for trails

Now is a great time to join American Trails to help us advocate for trails and greenways of every kind. With your help, we can increase funding for trails, keep more trails open, and improve the health and well being of Americans of all ages and abilities. Please help us continue to serve you and the trails community by enlisting a new member or renewing your own membership today. Give the gift that makes a difference ~ an American Trails membership…

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Trail Tracks e-Newsletter
May 2010