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National Trails Day gives NRTs promotional boost

National Recreation Trail designation brings a great opportunity to publicize and build support for your trail or greenway.

By Cherri Espersen

National Trails Day is held the first Saturday in June each year. Several National Recreation Trails used the occasion to show off their projects to both media and the public. Here are some good examples of trail events featuring NRT designations:

Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Trail (Pierre, SD)
A Trail Walk was held to celebrate the improvement of a section of trail between Farm Island Recreation Area and Griffin Park, and to honor Dave Bonde, American Hiking Society Volunteer of the Year for South Dakota. Participants received free sports bottles.

Schuylkill River Water Trail (Schuylkill Haven, PA)
A ceremony was held on June 1 to celebrate the trail's NRT designation and kick off the 4th annual Schuylkill River Sojourn, a seven-day journey down the river to Philadelphia. Congressman Tim Holden attended to present the NRT plaque to the Schuylkill River Greenway Association.

Lake Wobegon Trail (Stearns County, MN)
The Third Annual Caramel Roll Bike Ride invited participants to ride, hike, or in- line skate on the trail. In order to register, participants stop at a local restaurant and buy a caramel roll. On June 22, as part of the opening of another section of the trail, Congressman Oberstar presented County Board Chair, Don Otte, with the NRT plaque.

Poudre River Trail Corridor (Greeley, CO)
On June 29, there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the newest 1.5 mile section of the trail and to recognize the NRT designation. Mineral Belt Trail (Leadville, CO) Celebration of the NRT designation was scheduled for September 21 in the midst of the fall colors and to unveil interpretive signs depicting the mining and cultural history along the trail.

New River Trail State Park (Foster Falls, VA)
A concert was held in the park to celebrate National Trails Day and the NRT designation. A local band provided old time mountain music for 4 hours, while NRT t-shirts and posters were given as door prizes. Indy Parks Greenways (Indianapolis, IN) On June 1, Rory Robinson of the National Park Service Rivers and Trails program presented the city of Indianapolis certificates designating four of the Indy Parks Greenways as National Recreation Trails. Receiving these certificates were Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, Indy Parks Director Joe Wynn and Indy Parks Greenways Director Ray Irvin.

We hope all NRT managers will consider an event to celebrate their trail in 2003. We'd like to hear about your ideas for trail events! For information on the National Trails Day program visit www.americanhiking.org or call (301) 565-6704.

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