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New report from the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative identifies two project ideas in each state.

arrow Download the full 124-page America’s Great Outdoors Fifty-State Report (pdf 4.3 mb)

arrow More information on the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative


America’s Great Outdoors Fifty-State Report from Department of the Interior

From American Trails

In 2010 the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative charged the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to develop a conservation and recreation agenda for the 21st Century.

photo of covered steel trail bridge

The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail at Cascade Locks, part of the
proposed Ohio to Erie Trail


The intent of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative is to build on the coutry’s "long history of actions taken to conserve our natural heritage. What has resulted is a nationwide system of public lands— both large and small and including parks, wildlife refuges, forests, wilderness areas, scenic seashores, hiking trails, protected waters, and recreation areas."

The Fifty-State Report, released in November 2011, highlights three key findings:

1. People value close-to-home places to access the outdoors.

2. People love their rivers.

3. People want to conserve our large, rural landscapes.

Based on input from State Governors, their staff, and other stakeholders, the Fifty-State Report identifies two project ideas in each state for the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies to partner with state and local governments and other stakeholders on a shared conservation and recreation agenda.

Citing the federal governments funding situation, the Department of the Interior "will not be in a position to provide significant financial resources to most projects. Interior will work with states and communities to advance these projects with existing resources through technical support and with its administrative authorities. It will also partner with states and communities to leverage grants, private funding, and other resources to help ensure a project’s success."




Gulf Coast Restoration
Conservation Education for Alabama’s Youth

Denali State Park Trails
Kachemak Bay Water Trail

Rio Salado
Lake Havasu National Bluewater Trail System

Delta Heritage Trail
Arkansas River Trail

San Joaquin River
Los Angeles River Trail & San Gabriel River Trail Improvements

Rocky Mountain Greenway
Yampa River Basin

Connecticut River
Naugatuck River

First State National Historical Park
Delaware National Bayshore

District Of Columbia
Anacostia Riverwalk Trail

Shingle Creek Trail
East Central Regional Rail-Trail Project

Get Outdoors Georgia
Panola Mountain State Park

North Kona – South Kohala Coastline/Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail
Wailua River National Blueway

Boise River Greenbelt
Owyhee Land Exchange

Calumet Millennium Reserve
Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge

Wabash River—Healthy Rivers Initiative
Indiana Dunes

Loess Hills
Southern Prairie Pothole National Wildlife Refuge

Flint Hills Legacy Conservation Area
Kansas River Water Trail

Kentucky River Water Trail
Dawkins Line Rail-Trail

Urban Waters Initiative
Restoration of Lake Pontchartrain Basin

Penobscot River Restoration Project
Keeping Maine’s Forests

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park
Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

Blackstone River Valley Greenway
Connecticut River

Detroit River
Detroit River Restoration

Upper Minnesota River Watershed
Twin Cities Parks: Mississippi National River & Recreation Area

Mississippi Coastal Heritage Trail
Pascagoula River National Blueway

Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Revitalization
Ozark Trail

Crown of the Continent
Fort Missoula Regional Park

Platte River Recovery Implementation Program
Platte River Access

Lorenzi Park Renovation
Colorado River Heritage Greenway Park and Trails

New Hampshire
Northern Forest
Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

New Jersey
Barnegat Bay
Barnegat Bay

New Mexico
Price’s Dairy
Aztec Ruins National Monument

New York
Harlem River/Roberto Clemente State Park
Finger Lakes Trail and Water Access Improvements

North Carolina
Waccamaw River National Blueway
Elk Knob—Long Hope Valley

North Dakota
Dakota Grasslands
Missouri River Forest Restoration Project

Ohio to Erie Trail Connections
Grand Lake St. Marys Watershed Wetland Development

Honey Springs Battlefield Park
Blue River

Table Rocks
Willamette Valley Conservation Plan

Lower Susquehanna Landscape Initiative
Urban Greening

Rhode Island
Blackstone River Valley Greenway
Blackstone River Valley Project

South Carolina
Longleaf Pine Focal Area
Three Rivers Greenway

South Dakota
Blood Run National Historic Landmark
Dakota Grasslands

Paint Rock River Watershed
Tennessee Riverpark’s Chattanooga Riverwalk

Rio Grande Watershed
West Galveston Bay

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
Jordan River Parkway

Winooski River Watershed Project
Connecticut River

Fort Monroe National Historical Park
Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

Pacific Northwest Trail - Olympic Discovery Trail Convergence
Lower Columbia Water Trail

West Virginia
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
New River Gorge National River

Lake Michigan Water Trail
Ice Age Trail

Devils Tower Conservation Easement
Grand Teton National Park Multi-Use Pathways Program

arrow Download the full 124-page America’s Great Outdoors Fifty-State Report (pdf 4.3 mb)

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