Youth Conservation/Service Corps and Community Outreach


Hyde Park Heritage Greenway - New York

Park managers with young trail workers

The RTP grant was instrumental in helping to make the Hyde Park Trail System “ready for prime time.”

In 2003, the Town of Hyde Park received a Recreational Trails Program grant for improvements to the Hyde Park Heritage Greenway Trail System. The Hyde Park Trail System includes 14 miles of trails within units of the National Park System, a State Park, several Town parks, a nonprofit nature preserve, and private lands, as well as trails that link between them.

Physical improvements and new parking for key trails made them accessible and appealing to the public. Trailhead kiosks help build a strong identity for the trails and cultivate public awareness of the storied landscapes that weave throughout the entire town, including National Park sites outside the boundaries of the town.

A new trail map/brochure, combined with a consistent system of trail directional signs and color-coded trail markers, provided high-quality visitor orientation and wayfinding regardless of land ownership.

On the Hyde Park Heritage Greenway

On the Hyde Park Heritage Greenway

Youth Conservation/Service Corps involvement made project completion possible:

  • A Student Conservation Association (SCA) intern during 2008 focused entirely on Hyde Park Trails. She helped enhance community engagement by enlisting and training volunteer trail maintainers, running trail maintenance days, creating the first trails newsletter, and working with the National Park Service Park Educator to create “Spring Break” trail activities for local school children and their families.
  • Additional SCA interns have helped with trail marking, GPS mapping, and invasive species removal.
  • Vocational students with the Dutchess County Board of Cooperative Educational Services built the five trailhead kiosks, and continue to make the majority of the routed trail directional signs.
  • Fourteen Eagle Scout candidates have completed trail projects, restored trail segments, and built boardwalks, bridges, benches, switchbacks, and stairs that all enhance the trails.

The trails have steadily grown in popularity and are used by increasing numbers of groups and individuals. Trail counts by the National Park Service recorded over 44,000 trail visits during 2009.

Vocational students with the Dutchess County Board of Cooperative Educational Services with signs

Vocational students with the Dutchess County Board of Cooperative Educational Services with signs

More winners of this award

2023: Statewide Conservation Trails Crew

2021: Evans Creek ORV Area

2020: Monadnock Trail Improvement Project

2019: Lassen Peak Trail

2018: Pole Mountain Trails - Wyoming

2017: Arizona Conservation Corps Mogollon Rim Ancestral Lands Trail Crew - Arizona

2016: Rock Creek Park Bridge Project - District of Columbia

2016: Utah Conservation Corps Bike Crew - Utah

2015: Iowa DNR Americorps Trail Crew - Iowa

2014: Alaska Trails Mobile Tool Trailers

2013: Leicester Hollow Loop Trail - Vermont

2012: Mount Yale Trail Realignment - Colorado

2011: Anchorage Hillside Singletrack Trail System - Alaska

2009: North Bend Lake Equestrian Trail - West Virginia

2007: Continental Divide Trail Alliance Youth Corps

2006: Swallow Falls Trails and Muddy Creek Falls Overlook - Maryland

2005: Superior Hiking Trail - Minnesota

2004: North Fork I and II Trail Projects - Oregon

2003: North Fork Boise River Trail Rehabilitation - Idaho