Coalition for Recreational Trails - Award Nominations

Nominate Award-winning trail and greenway projects funded through the Recreational Trails Program


2016 CRT Award Winner - Cochran Mill Park Trail, Georgia

The 2020 RTP Achievement Awards Are Back On! Submit your projects by July 31, 2020, at 5 pm EDT.

Unlike previous years, there will not be an in-person awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. but, there will be an online “virtual” ceremony later this Summer, and all award winners will be invited to participate in the next “live” event on Capitol Hill (hopefully in 2021).

Nominate your project, program, or committee now!

The Coalition for Recreational Trails seeks nominations for its Tom Petri Annual Achievement Awards. Winners are recognized in Washington, D.C. each June during Great Outdoors Month®. This awards program, active for more than 20 years, recognizes outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds, showcasing excellent projects made possible by RTP funding and enhancing awareness and appreciation of the RTP among Members of Congress and other key officials. In 2014, the awards were named in honor of Tom Petri, a former Member of Congress and longtime RTP champion.

As an additional benefit, American Trails makes a web page for each winning project. See the over 100 award pages we have created since 2003. We hope you will join us in this important effort to recognize the significant contributions to our nationwide system of trails and greenways that the Recreational Trails Program is supporting all across the country.


Submit your projects by July 31, 2020, at 5 pm EDT.

Awards are given in several categories:

  • Maintenance and Rehabilitation – maintaining, repairing damage to, or upgrading the quality of a trail to improve the trail experience, increase user safety, and/or enhance protection of the environment, including wildlife
  • Construction and Design – planning and building a trail, portions of a trail (e.g., a bridge), or trail-related facilities (e.g., a trailhead, shelter, etc.)
  • Public-Private Partnerships and Access to/Use of Public Lands – facilitating and/or encouraging cost-effective partnerships between public and private entities, especially to increase access to and use of federal, state and local public lands, including parks, forests and wildlife refuges
  • Community Linkage – providing and/or enhancing opportunities for trail-based recreation and transportation within or near local communities
  • Education and Communication – using a variety of established and/or technologically innovative communications tools (e.g., web sites, social media and peer-to-peer information sharing) to increase environmental awareness, promote trail-related safety, encourage trail-related outdoor recreation and, overall, enhance trail use and enjoyment
  • Multiple-Use Management & Corridor Sharing – facilitating and/or encouraging the use of a trail corridor by more than one type of trail enthusiast, particularly those enthusiasts that do not ordinarily share trails or trail-related facilities
  • Accessibility Enhancement – facilitating and/or encouraging increased access to trail-related recreation opportunities for people with disabilities
  • Youth Conservation/Service Corps and Community Outreach – making effective use of the services and skills of qualified youth conservation or service corps and other community organizations as project partners and supporters
  • Engaging Public-Sector Partners – engaging and garnering the support of public-sector officials including local, state and federal elected officials or agency personnel for RTP-funded projects or the overall continuation/advancement of the RTP
  • Enhancement of Federal Lands – planning and building a trail or maintaining and rehabilitating a trail on federally managed lands to enhance the public use and enjoyment of those lands

2017 CRT Award Winner - Arizona Conservation Corps Mogollon Rim Ancestral Lands Trail Crew

2017 CRT Award Winner - Arizona Conservation Corps Mogollon Rim Ancestral Lands Trail Crew

How to nominate a project

The nomination form and photos, plus any supporting materials, should be returned via e-mail to Duane Taylor, the Chair of the Coalition’s Awards Committee, at [email protected]. If you have any questions email or call him at (703) 416-0444.

It is important to note that photos and other materials included as part of the nominations are often used to highlight RTP projects in the Federal Highway Administration RTP Annual Report, CRT’s RTP Facebook page, and in the online RTP Database Image Library. In addition, American Trails features RTP-funded projects in its monthly eNews and online articles. As a result, simply nominating your project may result in increased exposure for your project!

To be eligible projects must be completed and must have been finished no earlier than 2010. You can check the online Recreational Trails Program Database to be sure a project included RTP funding. Please note: Data collection is an ongoing effort and is regularly being entered into the database as it is received from the States, District of Columbia, and other sources. Should you need assistance with the RTP Database, please contact [email protected].

We invite you to nominate an outstanding project and to encourage the sponsor(s) of an excellent project in your state to submit a nomination as well. We also encourage you to solicit support from the appropriate Members of Congress— both U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators— to build awareness of excellent RTP-funded projects and the RTP program itself.