This award is given in recognition of successful efforts to influence public policy relating to trail planning, trail protection, trail development, or maintenance.
Ron Steffey is Executive Director of the Allegheny Valley Land Trust.
A few years ago, Ron was using the Armstrong Trail a lot, while he was on Workers Compensation and trying to heal his foot injury from working in the coal mines. After a number of complaints to a trail volunteer about how the trail was being built, Ron was invited to get involved and fix it. He started out as an Americorps position with the Allegheny Valley Land Trust, and is now their full-time Executive Director.
The Land Trust's mission is to "protect and convert railroad corridors into trails for public use, thereby providing opportunities for commuters and outdoor recreational activities. Our projects will maintain the integrity of these corridors for future transportation use while acting as an economic stimulus for the area communities.”
Ron has been working tirelessly to build public awareness and support for the Armstrong Trail and to initiate other nearby rail-trail projects. Ron has also been a leader in advocating for the formation of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail, of which the Armstrong Trail would be one segment.