2024 Trails Capacity Program Awardees Announced

American Trails is excited to award funding to seven more trails projects in our Trails Capacity Program.

We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Bronco Wild Fund to support trail stewardship, research, and training projects across America.

As of April 2024, we are proud to have awarded over one hundred and seventy thousand dollars of support to a total of twenty-one trails projects in North America. Explore these projects in greater detail on our interactive map.

The Trails Capacity Program, originally called The Trail Fund, was started in 2022 with the generous support of Ford Motor Company. We hope to grow this fund to support many more trail projects that improve the capacity of the trails’ community in the coming years. To support the Trails Capacity Program please visit the Sponsorship Oppotunities page.

Support from Bronco Wild Fund, a Ford Motor Company program, will unlock additional funds and allow many projects to move forward. “In an effort to keep the great outdoors, great, Bronco Wild Fund collaborates with organizations that help protect and preserve public lands,” said Kelsey Gerken, Ford Cause Marketing & Bronco Off-Roadeo manager. “Our collaboration with American Trails is a great example of working together to make direct impact through community projects to promote outdoor recreation and responsible access for all.”

2024 Trails Capacity Program Awardees

These funded projects will assist the trails community to support trails stewardship, research, and training needs across America.

Click on the green stars to see more details about projects funded in 2024 on our Interactive Map.

Project Name: Franconia Ridge Loop Trails — Community Engagement and Capacity-building
Category: Maintenance, Stewardship training
Applicant: World Trails Network - Hub for the Americas
Project Location: Old Bridal Path, New Hampshire
Amount Awarded: $10,000
Matching Funds: $14,750
Project Synopsis: For 2024, WTN Americas will organize ten volunteer events between late May and early October on New Hampshire State Parks (NHSP) sections of Old Bridal Path, in collaboration with: • WTN America's with hire a Chief Trail Steward • Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) — the AMC will provide a volunteer leader for each work day. • White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) — the Old Bridle Path crosses from NHSP land into USFS land, all the work is coordinated with both the NHSP and WMNF • Peter Jensen & Associates, LLC (trail contractor) will determine the scope of volunteer work

 

Project Name: Ecological Restoration Support for The Butler Trail in Austin, TX
Category: Maintenance, Stewardship training
Applicant: The Trail Conservancy (TTC)
Project Location: The Anne and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake, Texas
Amount Awarded: $10,000
Matching Funds: $10,000
Project Synopsis: TTC seeks $10,000 from American Trails to support our Ecological Restoration program for Trail maintenance. With Austin’s population increasing so have annual Trail visits, underscoring the importance of maintaining the Trail's environmental health. Our initiatives encompass park-sustaining means including living shoreline aquatic restoration, wetland restoration, green infrastructure development, woodland expansion, rain garden installation and maintenance, riparian area management, and wildflower diversification. For 2024 TTC needs a minimum of $20,000 for plantings and supplies. We have secured and allocated $10,000, leaving a gap of $10,000. Significantly, we collaborate with The Texas Conservation Corps and community volunteers to implement these crucial projects.

 

Project Name: Wilds Weekends Trail Crews
Category: Maintenance, Stewardship training
Applicant: Keystone Trails Association
Project Location: The Pennsylvania Wilds region, Pennsylvania
Amount Awarded: $8,621
Matching Funds: $2,500
Project Synopsis: Keystone Trails Association's storied Trail Care Program, celebrating its 40th Anniversary, has historically assisted DCNR with trail maintenance, especially on trails without a maintaining club. The vast PA Wilds region showcases some of PA's most beautiful and remote hiking trails, and also suffers from a backlog of deferred maintenance. The $8621 requested will support 5 work weekend events in April-October through KTA staff leadership and coordination, and volunteer recruitment and management. Outcomes include stewardship of 60 or more miles of trails, activation of 35 unique volunteers (including 10 new), and providing improved hiking experiences in the PA Wilds region.

 

Project Name: Rebuilding Trail Crossings Project
Category: Maintenance
Applicant: Alborn Dirt Devils
Project Location: Southern Half of Alborn Pengilly RR ATV Trail, Minnesota
Amount Awarded: $6,300
Matching Funds: $0
Project Synopsis: The Rebuild Trail Crossings Project will address three locations where our ATV trail crosses major highways. These crossings are deteriorating due to poorly designed crossings. This grant request will fix this issue in design. The timeline for the project is May 2024. The benefits cover two areas. The first is ATV rider safety. The approaches to the major highways are dangerous due to the design. The second is rider enjoyment. By addressing these crossings, and the work the Club has completed over the year, the overall trail improvement will bring more riders to enjoy our trail system. The Club has invested in trail counters and as we completed upgrades in 2023, these counters indicated an increase in ATV riders. We feel fixing the trail crossings will improve the trail system, and result in increased ridership.

 

Project Name: Foothills Trail Volunteer Stewardship Work Parties
Category: Maintenance, Stewardship training
Applicant: Foothills Rails-to-Trails Coalition
Project Location: Foothills National Recreation Trail, Washington
Amount Awarded: $8,002
Matching Funds: $800
Project Synopsis: Throughout 2024, the Coalition will galvanize the next generation of trail stewards while performing routine and deferred trail maintenance on the Foothills National Recreation Trail in partnership with Pierce County. Eight volunteer trail work parties, held March through October, will tackle vegetation management, invasive species removal, planting native species and other Crime Prevention by Environmental Design tasks to support the backlog of maintenance along the trail, while providing hands-on stewardship training to volunteers, with a focus on engaging younger and more diverse populations reflective of the communities the Foothills Trail is located in. We humbly request $8,002 for this project.

 

Project Name: Youth Protecting the Outdoors
Category: Maintenance, Stewardship training
Applicant: Redwood Parks Conservancy
Project Location: Redwood National and State Parks, California
Amount Awarded: $10,000
Matching Funds: $490,680
Project Synopsis: Redwood Parks Conservancy is seeking $10,000 to purchase hand tools for stewardship training and trail maintenance in Redwood National and State Parks. These hand tools will be used by an Americorps crew and will make it possible for the members to clear 25 miles of trails in their 12 months of service.

 

Project Name: Alaska Trail Stewards Training Opportunities
Category: Maintenance, Stewardship training
Applicant: Alaska Trails
Project Location: Hidden Lake Trail, Chugach State Park, Alaska
Amount Awarded: $6,500
Matching Funds: $415
Project Synopsis: With the $6,500 requested, Alaska Trails will provide a Wilderness First Aid course, a Trail Maintenance Assessment workshop, and a Trail Construction course for volunteer crew leaders, held at the beginning of the trail season on Hidden Lake Trail in Chugach State Park. These trainings will have a sustainable and lasting impact and will attract a diverse range of young volunteers with different backgrounds and skill sets, supporting a more inclusive and diverse trail work ecosystem in Alaska. By building the skills and capacity of volunteer crew leaders, these trainings will create a network of knowledgeable and experienced trail advocates.

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