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Events on the trails promote NRT designation

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

By Cherri Espersen

Many trail managers hold a dedication ceremony to announce their National Recreation Trail designation. National Trails Day has provided the date for many trail celebrations but the opening of a new section or other event of local significance is a great way to generate positive publicity for your trail. Here are some trail celebrations held on NRTs in 2003:

photo of a tent in the wild
 

Arrowhead Trail

(Washington County, Pennsylvania) Peters Township held a Community Day on June 28, 2003, which included a trail spur opening, guided rides, and a celebration of the trail's National Recreation Trail designation. Over 2,000 people were in attendance. For further information, contact Eddie Figas at 724-942-5000.

Big Dry Creek Trail

(Adams & Jefferson Counties, Colorado) The City of Westminster celebrated National Trails Day with several projects on the trail. Volunteers along the trail received waves and thanks from many trail users. The volunteers planted and mulched trees around a pond, revegetated wetlands, planted native plants to replace plants lost to the drought, cleaned up trash, and removed old open space wire fencing.

Participants celebrated with a barbeque along the trail. Volunteers have been working for several years to enhance and restore the trail and surrounding open space, and therefore enjoyed this opportunity to celebrate the trail's recent NRT designation. For further information, contact Patti Wright at 303-430-2400, ext. 2201.

Cattail Trail & Northwest Greenway

(Tippecanoe County, Indiana) A ceremony was held on October 15, at the Celery Bog Nature Area, to celebrate the dedication and NRT designation of the Cattail and Northwest Greenway trails network. National Park Service and Purdue University officials, along with area residents, joined Mayor Sonya Margerum in dedicating the new trails network. The event also included the unveiling of trails orientation signs. For further information, contact Joe Payne at 765-775-5110.

Ernst Recreational Trail

(Crawford County, Pennsylvania) On June 7, an event was held to celebrate the trail's NRT designation and National Trails Day. Congressman Phil English presented the NRT plaque to the Ernst Trail Committee. For further information, contact Tom McNally at 814-724-6073.

Galloway Creek Greenway

(Greene County, Missouri) On August 5, officials held an unveiling ceremony and announced the trail's NRT designation. Participants enjoyed watermelon at the celebration. For further information, contact Lori Tack at 417-864-2015.

Lake Wobegon Trail

(Stearns County, Minnesota) On July 22, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a 9-mile section of the trail from Avon to St. Joseph. This section opened on October 17, with 4 miles of corridor donated from the Burlington Northern Santa Fee Railroad.

A dedication is planned for next April. A dedication of the paved Albany to Holdingford section of the trail was held on October 21. Attendees included children, a former trail opponent, the Mayor, the retired sheriff, and others. This 9-mile section of trail originally opened as a gravel trail in 2001.

The Lake Wobegon Trail is now 46 miles long. The trail is open to bicycles, snowmobiles without studs, in-line skaters, and hikers. Some folks say the trail goes by Lake Wobegon. The Caramel Roll Bike Ride is scheduled for May 1, 2004. For further information, contact Pete Theismann at 320-255-6172.

Luzerne County Rail-Trail

(Pennsylvania) A presentation celebrating the trail's NRT designation and National Trails Day was held at Cooper's Restaurant on June 7. A planned canoe trip and outdoor event at Pittston Riverfront Park had to be cancelled due to inclement weather. For further information, contact Charles Urban at 570-829-2841.

Smith's Island Nature Trail

(Scott County, Iowa) The Mississippi River Project, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hosted an event on September 20 (National Public Lands Day), to celebrate the trail's recent NRT designation. Park rangers conducted guided trail hikes and explained the island's unique upland habitat and history. A new brochure is now available. For further information, contact C. Leon Hodges: 309-794-4527.

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