filed under: federal legislation
Every year hundreds of projects across the country use Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funding to complete new projects and improve existing infrastructure. These are two recent highlights of how those funds are being used on the ground.
The Smith Mountain Fire Tower And Trails outside of Dadeville, Alabama installed new educational exhibits in the spring of 2019 thanks in part to Recreational Trail Program funds, distributed through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).
Even before their official dedication this November the new displays have garnered attention. The Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association (CRATA) is the organization behind these new displays. CRATA president Jerry Bynum has noted that those who have seen the displays have highly regarded them, and CRATA is now being invited to conferences to speak about them.
The large educational displays provide visitors with a wealth of information on a variety of subjects, including the natural history and geology of the area, as well as the current wildlife and flora found in the area. By using less text alongside plenty of photographs and graphics the displays are able to be extremely visually stimulating to visitors.
In St. Albans, West Virginia the city recently rededicated their City Park Nature Trail after improvements made using Recreational Trails Program funding. The trail received numerous upgrades which included refacing the entire trail with stone, and in some cases completely rebuilding old sections by re-cutting them and making them easier to traverse. Additionally two bridges were replaced on the trail.
The trail was originally dedicated in 1984, and other than routine maintenance these are the first large scale improvements since that time. According to the WV Gazette Mail, "The St. Albans City Park Nature Trail is used throughout the year for regular and special events, such as guided group hikes, the yearly “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” Spring Nature Hike each April and a Haunted Trail open for terror-inducing tours during the Halloween season in October.
The park and hiking trails are open to the public from daylight to dark daily."
Published November 13, 2019
This February and March, over 120 advocates virtually hiked the halls of Congress to call for action to protect and expand access for all to public lands and trails. These efforts, led by the Partnership for the National Trails System and American Hiking Society, developed a series of common messages and legislative priorities for the coming Federal fiscal year. We encourage all of our partners to download the Hike the Hill materials now to help build a common agenda for the entire trails community.
The reemergence of earmarks in the infrastructure and appropriations process in Congress is creating huge opportunity for trail projects that are ready to go.
Welch and Curtis Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Boost Funding for Recreational Trails -- HR 1864
These recommendations have been jointly developed for Hike the Hill regarding FFY 2022 asks and justifications for Federal agency budgets affecting trails and outdoor recreation opportunities.