The Advancing Trails Awards Program recognizes the tremendous contributions of volunteers, professionals, and other leaders who are working to create an effective system of trails across the globe.
The Advancing Trails Awards were announced at the 24th International Trails Symposium and Training Institute in Syracuse, New York April 28 - May 1, 2019
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This award recognizes and honors an individual demonstrating longstanding, significant, and exemplary service to the trails movement. Their contribution should be national in scope and submissions should describe accomplishments which have achieved lasting impact for trails. Supporting documentation and affirmations are encouraged.
This special award is conferred at the will of the Chair of the board, in concurrence with fellow board members, to recognize notable achievements by an individual that changes the landscape of the trails industry.
This award recognizes a trail or trail system that demonstrates excellent integration of accessibility characteristics into its design and construction. Trails must comply with the new Federal guidelines for recreation trails and provide universal design for people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities.
This award recognizes an extraordinary trail project which demonstrates innovative planning and design techniques while making a positive contribution to the community it serves. Submissions should describe special features of the trail(s), greenway(s), or blueway(s), with an emphasis on unique solutions to design challenges as well as explain the trail’s positive impact.
The partnership must consist of two or more entities and must have benefited agencies or services within the field of trail planning, design, or implementation. The partnership must have contributed toward positive public exposure for trails. The partnership can be between organizations, agencies, corporations, or public and private interests.
This award recognizes innovative and successful strategies for promoting and increasing trail use and understanding. Unique signage, fun trail events, outreach to schools/elders/veterans/etc., creative use of media, modal training, storyboards, specialized apps, etc. are but a few of the imaginative ways being used to engage and broaden the community of trail users.
This award recognizes the integration of art with the trail experience including outstanding public art works, interpretive signs, or other creative structures, sounds or even smells associated with trail related enhancement.
This award recognizes a community’s commitment to incorporating trails into their overall public-health-improvement plans by facilitating access, promoting use, and broadly communicating the importance of physical activity to good health. The award highlights the effectiveness of including trails in community design as a strategy for increasing citizen activity level and consequent good health.
This award recognizes unique and outstanding collaboration between trail partners spanning international borders. It can be focused on a specific trail project or can reflect a broader joint approach that contributed to or catalyzed a positive outcome in trail planning, design, implementation, or promotion. The partnership can be between or among private organizations, regional and local agencies, national governments, or any mixture of participating parties.
These awards will recognize individuals who have made compelling and significant contributions to the trails movement in their home states. Any area of trail excellence or achievement – advocating, designing, building, using, maintaining, promoting, decorating, adapting technologies for trail use, etc. – could be grounds for receiving this honor. Open to US nominations only. Only one award per State will be made.
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The Advancing Awards Program is one way American Trails recognizes the tremendous contributions and successes of exemplary people across the globe who are working to advance trails. These awards are presented every two years during the International Trails Symposium and Training Institute.
Awards were presented at the 23rd International Trails Symposium - May 7-10, 2017, Dayton, Ohio.
The awards celebration was held in Portland at the Oregon Convention, April 16, 2015.
The awards celebration was held at Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona, April 16, 2013.
The awards celebration was held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nov. 16, 2010.
The awards were presented on Nov.17, 2008 at the 19th National Trails Symposium in Little Rock, AR.
The awards were presented on October 21, 2006, at the 18th National Trails Symposium in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois.
The awards were presented on October 23, 2004, at the 17th National Trails Symposium in Austin, Texas.
The awards were announced at the 16th National Trails Symposium in Orlando, Florida, November 10-13, 2002.