Understanding the National Recreation Trails Program and National Water Trails System

This webinar is an introduction to the National Recreation Trails Program and the National Water Trails System.

Presented by:

Event Details

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September 08, 2016

10:30 AM to 12:00 AM (Pacific Time) {more time zones}

11:30 AM to 01:00 AM (Mountain Time)
12:30 PM to 02:00 AM (Central Time)
01:30 PM to 03:00 AM (Eastern Time)


FREE for members
FREE for nonmembers


Closed Captioning is NOT available for this webinar.
Learning Credits are NOT available for this webinar.

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Webinar Outline

photo credit: Mike Bullington
The Willamette River Trail, Eugene, Oregon

The Willamette River Trail, Eugene, Oregon

Presenters will highlight the benefits and the value of National Recreation Trails Program and National Water Trails System designation, point out the criteria and requirements for designation, show you how to apply, and relate the experiences of a newly designated trail.

Applications for the next round of designations are being accepted until November 1, 2016.

Rory Robinson will give a brief overview of the National Recreation Trails and National Water Trails programs focusing on the benefits and the value to those who choose to participate in these opportunities.

Helen Scully will introduce the enabling legislation, the criteria and requirements for designation, the information needed for an application, and how to apply. She will walk through the National Recreation Trails website, the NRT online application, the National Water Trails System website, as well as the NWT online application.

Jarrett Caston will discuss the application process for trails administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that include National Forests, National Grasslands, and National Recreation Areas, and associated lands.

Liz Sparks will discuss strategies for achieving success in the designation process, as well as ways to gain support from private and public partners.


Webinar Partners


​Rory Robinson, Outdoor Recreation Planner, National Park Service

Rory Robinson is an Outdoor Recreation Planner, National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance, Ohio Field Office. During his 36-year career, Rory has worked in five different NPS units primarily in the fields of interpretation and cultural resources management receiving the 1989 NPS Appleman/Judd award for excellence in cultural resources management. His work has also included assistance to the Ohio and Erie Canal, Maumee Valley, and Wabash River Heritage Corridors. He has been involved in trails planning efforts throughout Indiana and Ohio and worked on river and watershed projects along the Blanchard River (OH) and the Wabash and Blue Rivers (IN). Rory has provided leadership in a number of national and regional initiatives including serving as six-time program chair for the International Trails Symposium with American Trails.


Helen Scully, National Recreation Trails Coordinator (retired), National Park Service

Helen Scully was the National Recreation Trails Coordinator with the National Park Service from 2008 to 2018. Helen Scully was on the dedicated National Park Service team that provides support for the National Trails System. She served as the National Recreation Trails coordinator for the Department of the Interior. Her Federal career spanned more than 24 years and took her to work in five National Park System units as well as the Washington, DC, headquarters.


Jarrett Caston, Program Specialist, USDA Forest Service

Jarrett Caston is Program Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service. He is responsible for supporting Landowner & Community Assistance and Urban & Community staff with various projects related to outreach, communication and knowledge sharing. Jarrett also provides critical support to Cooperative Forestry’s Minority Landowner and Diversity Programs.


Liz Sparks, Paddling Trail Coordinator, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Division of State Lands

Liz Sparks is Paddling Trail Coordinator at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Office of Greenways & Trails. Liz has worked with local communities and partner agencies to successfully earn designation of seven National Recreation Trails on Florida’s excellent waterways. She is currently applying for designation of Florida’s first National Water Trail, the majestic Suwannee River, reaching across the Georgia state line to gain support from private and public partners.



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