Action Alert: National Survey of Shovel-ready Trail Projects

Help the trails community demonstrate its ability to put America back to work and deliver the benefits of trails to all communities.

by Mike Passo, Executive Director, American Trails


Palisades Shore trail work, NJ

American Trails and our Trails Move People partners need your input to demonstrate the immense impact that trails and trail projects can have on the economic recovery following the COVID-19 epidemic. As Congress, states, philanthropists, and others invest in economic stimulus and infrastructure projects, it is important that trails are included. This is why we need you.

American Trails, in collaboration with our partners in the trails community, is working to quantify the amount, diversity, and location of “shovel-ready” trail projects across the country. We need this information to effectively advocate for inclusion of trails in the federal economic response to COVID-19. The information you provide will help to mobilize trail projects, put trail workers on the ground, and sustain rural and urban economies through transportation and recreation infrastructure investments.

TAKE THE SURVEY

Who should complete the survey?

Managers, either professional or volunteer, of “shovel-ready” trail projects. “Shovel-ready" trail projects are projects that, if funding is available and working conditions are safe, could be providing jobs by the summer of 2021. A project can be "shovel-ready" in any phase of development (e.g., acquisition/ROW, planning, design, construction, maintenance), as long as jobs would be created before summer 2021 if the project were funded now. Prior to completing the survey, it may be helpful to take a moment now and gather the information you will need to respond to the following questions about your "shovel-ready" trail projects. This information includes:

  • Project names and locations
  • Approximate total project budgets and timelines
  • Approximate numbers of project jobs or workers
  • Project characteristics and features (e.g., land type, mileage, types of project work, user types, accessibility, etc.)

All responses must be submitted prior to 5:00pm PDT, Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

American Trails has partnered with the Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Department at Penn State to ensure that all responses are anonymous and confidential.Results of this survey will be reported only at the aggregate level according to key geographic areas and project characteristics that are relevant to decisionmakers and funders at the national and state levels.

If you are a trail project manager of one or more “shovel-ready” projects, we strongly encourage you to provide information on your project(s). Without it, we will not be able to demonstrate the full power of trails to put people back to work and help America recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any questions about the survey or American Trails’ efforts to advocate on behalf of the trails community, please email Mike Passo.

Thank you for supporting the trails community!

Published May 14, 2020

About the Author

Mike Passo is the Executive Director of American Trails. Mike has also served as the Executive Director of the Professional Trailbuilders Association and the owner and operator of a sea kayak outfitter called Elakah Expeditions. Mike has led groups of all backgrounds, ages and abilities on sea kayak expeditions in the San Juan Islands of Washington, Vancouver Island in British Columbia, and in Glacier Bay, Alaska. Mike has conducted an extensive study of outdoor developed areas nationwide to determine the cost implications of construction according to proposed Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and a Congressional study on improving access to outdoor recreational activities on federal land. He has a B.S. in Recreation Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, including three years’ coursework in Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering. He has presented on Universal Design and Programming at several national conferences and served on the Board of Directors of American Trails since 2000. His love of the outdoors and his own paraplegia has given him a great interest in the creation of an accessible outdoor environment that does not ruin the characteristics and value of that environment.

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