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The National Trails Training Partnership: Working for the future of trail education
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From the National Trails Training Partnership: www.TrailsTraining.net
The challenges involved in the care and development of trails and greenways are enormous. One of these challenges is shared by all the diverse kinds of trails advocates: the need for well-trained, effective volunteers and staff. Some trail groups have relied on experienced trail builders from the federal agencies, but the old-timers are fast retiring and new people with trails skills aren't necessarily being hired. In the same way, our volunteers don't always stick around for years, and training new people is hard work in itself.
Recognizing this need across America, a wide variety of agencies and national trail organizations representing all user groups have joined together to address the issue. The National Trails Training Partnership (NTTP) is an effort by trails advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. The vision of the Partnership is "to ensure that the full range of skills, training, and resource information is available to trail groups, communities, tribal governments, and State and Federal agencies."
To put it another way, our goal is to help both staff and volunteers plan, design, enhance, build, interpret, protect, and maintain trails and greenways for all Americans. Obviously this covers a lot of ground there are vast differences in the kinds of trails people are caring for, just as our climates and topography are diverse. The skills and experience required also vary tremendously. And finally, we must address the different needs of professionals and full-time staff as well as volunteers with varying levels of commitment.
We are happy to say that the NTTP concept has progressed to the action stage. After two years of discussions among organizations and Federal and State representatives, the new Partnership has been created along with an ambitious set of tasks. A key resource was initial funding last fall from the Federal Highway Administration. FHWA administers federal dollars for trails through the Recreational Trails Program, and allocates some funds for research, publications, and efforts like the NTTP. A Steering Committee has been developed to oversee the current efforts. NTTP development, coordination, publicity and web site work is provided by American Trails in cooperation with the NTTP partners.
Tasks currently underway are:
Who's behind the NTTP project?
The NTTP Steering Committee includes these national organization partners:
Improving the availability of trail-related training is clearly a huge challenge. But across the outdoor recreation spectrum, trails advocates recognize the importance of skills and education.
We hope that you and your organization or agency will join us. Here's how:
Send calendar items and registration forms to American Trails at NTTP@AmericanTrails.org or call (530) 605-4395. Visit the National Trails Training Partnership website at www.TrailsTraining.net, hosted by American Trails (www.AmericanTrails.org).
The National Trails Training Partnership is an alliance of Federal agencies, training providers, nationwide supporters, and providers of products and services. Visit the online calendar of training opportunities, access hundreds of trail-related resources, read the news, learn how you can help, and see training resources in your state.
This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Cooperative Agreement DTFH61-06-H-00023. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration.
Need trail skills and education? Do you provide training? Join the National Trails Training Partnership!
The NTTP Online Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training
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Updated April 30, 2014