This award recognizes an individual that has made outstanding contributions and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, or maintenance. It is intended to recognize the efforts of a private or public sector individual working for enhanced trail recreation on either the local, state, or national level.
Jim Holden is the President of the Allegheny Valley Trails Association, an all volunteer, non-profit organization, whose mission is: "the acquisition of abandoned railways in the Allegheny River watershed and their rehabilitation into multipurpose, non-motorized recreational trails."
Jim has been involved in the AVTA as a volunteer since its founding in 1990. In that time, he has administered about $7 Million of grants for trail acquisition and construction, which has resulted in acquisition of 55 miles and construction of 46 miles of the Allegheny River Trail and the adjacent Sandy Creek Trail.
Jim personally helps to maintain the trails and keep the corridors mowed. Using creativity, vision, and comradery, Jim has what it takes to plan, acquire, build, maintain and promote trails and partnerships in his region. Jim is also the President of the newly-formed Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance, which is working to advocate and promote the completion of a mega-greenway system of over 200 miles of linking trails. Over the years, Jim has successfully engaged a multitude of partners, including the NPS Rivers & Trails Program, who assisted with the development of a Trail Feasibility Study in the 1980’s, Trail Town public workshops in 2006, and creation of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail Alliance in 2007. Jim truly has a big vision, and is making the vision a reality, mile by mile.