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In This Issue 

 

WHAT'S HOT

 

YOU ARE INVITED! Pathways for Play Webinar  

 

Invite your Members of Congress to a trail event in June  

 

Share your great photos of National Recreation Trails  

 

Kodak American Greenways Awards applications are due June 15  

 

Support trails and keep up to date on actions in Washington, DC

NEWS

 

Dallas promotes "Happy Trails" safety website and videos 

 

Water trail underway would circle Lake Michigan  

 

Montana rail trail bridge will include motorized use 

 

Trail signs lead children on a path to learning 

 

Owner of Segway company dies in fall from cliffside trail  

 

FEATURES

 

Getting kids on trails: Some educational and interpretive approaches 

 

Analysis of trail policies on power-driven mobility devices 

 

Mayors support increased funding for bikes and pedestrians 

 

Featured National Recreation Trail: Clear Creek Trail, Colorado 

 

 

TRAINING & EDUCATION

 

American Trails provides workshops on key trail topics 

 

National Trails Training Partnership meets June 17 in Washington, DC 

 

Find workshops and training for trail skills across America 

 

Upcoming trail-related training opportunities 

 

NEW RESOURCES

 

Safe Trails Forum is resource for problem solving 

 

Trail Safety Initiatives presentation from Dallas Parks & Recreation 

 

Artistic vision featured on Iowa's High Trestle Trail bridge 

 

Pathways for Play best practices guidebook 

 

Photo gallery: Power lines along trails, railtrails, and greenways 

 

 

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MAY 2011

Trail Tracks is the monthly e-Newsletter from American Trails. Check the topics below for links to the world's most comprehensive online source for planning, designing, building, funding, managing, enhancing, and supporting trails and greenways. 

whatshotWHAT'S HOT

a1
YOU ARE INVITED! Pathways for Play Webinar

American Trails is pleased to invite you to a special webinar highlighting the newest innovations for engaging children and families on pathway networks. Join us to learn about a unique partnership, the new Pathways for Play best practice guidelines, and National Demonstration Sites being installed across the country.  

 

Host: American Trails

Presenter and Program Author: Robin Moore, Dipl Arch., MCP, Director, Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University

Sponsor: PlayCore

Date: Thursday, May 26

Time: 11 am Eastern/8 am Pacific - 12:15 Eastern/9:15 Pacific

Join us to learn why so many are Pathways for Play Advocates.

Register Here: http://www.playcore.com/pathwaysforplaywebinar.html

 

a2
Invite your Members of Congress to a trail event in June


Register now to hold an American Hiking Society's National Trails Day event on June 4. This year's theme is: "Made with all Natural Ingredients." There has never been a more critical time to speak up for trails! This is the most important year ever to get Members of Congress to know why trails and greenways provide vital economic, health, and transportation benefits. Contact your Members of Congress - Senators and Representatives alike! Invite them to a trail ground-breaking, to a volunteer work day, or to a National Trails Day. Tell the media about these events, too, and then send news clips to your Congressional offices. Tell them about your success stories and about the myriad of people of all ages and abilities that love and use these trails! See more information: June 4 - American Hiking Society's National Trails Day and June 11 - National Get Outdoors Day... 

a3

Share your great photos of National Recreation Trails

 

Now is the time to take your camera for a ride or hike! American Trails is sponsoring the 2011 contest for photographs of National Recreation Trails across the country. Our annual contest provides awards in several categories and shows off entries (and previous winners) on the NRT website. The goal is to highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails. The deadline for entries is December 15, 2011. See contest rules and how to enter your photos...

a4
Kodak American Greenways Awards applications are due June 15


Eastman Kodak Company, The Conservation Fund, and the National Geographic Society team up each year to present the Kodak American Greenways Awards Program. One major element of the Program involves "seed" grant awards to organizations that are growing our nation's network of greenways, blueways, trails, and natural areas. Organizations can receive up to $2,500 in grant funds. See details and application form...


a5
Support trails and keep up to date on actions in Washington, DC


American Trails "SUPPORTING TRAILS" pages provide the facts on current issues and debates and the ongoing efforts of American Trails to continue its 20 years of support for positive policies and funding for trails and greenways. Please join our efforts to document the value of trails and bicycle/pedestrian facilities as transportation infrastructure, and be an active and positive voice in the reauthorization process, economic stimulus proposals, and Federal land management agency budgets. We continuously add news and action items to these pages. Check back often and forward this link on through your networks...

NEWS

a6

Dallas promotes "Happy Trails" safety website and videos

 

Friends of the Katy Trail and Dallas Parks and Recreation Department have addressed safety needs along the city's walk and bike trails system. A highly publicized death of a jogger in October 2010, when a cyclist crashed into the jogger along the Katy Trail, was followed by a car-and-cyclist collision two weeks later. New signs are proposed for the trails this spring; they're but one piece of a much larger program intended to get those using the city's 270.9 miles of trails to turn down, slow down, and look out. The city's new website is another strategy to promote safety. Read more and see graphics of signs...


a7

Water trail underway would circle Lake Michigan

 

Officials with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said they expect the trail to become a travel destination for kayakers and other small craft users, the same way the state's bike trails attract visiting cyclists. Their hope is that boaters will use the trail to put together multi-day trips, spending the night at hotels and campgrounds in communities up and down the lake. The proposed route would be 1,200 miles long, the longest freshwater, sea-kayaking trail in the world. Read more...


a8

Montana rail trail bridge will include motorized use

 

One hundred feet above the water, the century-old railroad trestle will soon have a much lighter load to carry. Its new wooden surface will open miles of former Milwaukee Road passage through the forest toward St. Regis. Instead of electric-powered locomotives, the route should lead bikers, ATV riders, and snowmobilers deep into the western Montana backcountry and out again. Read more and see photos...


a9

Trail signs lead children on a path to learning

 

The "Born Learning Trail" in Pensacola's Bayview Park is one of a series of park facilities designed to improve health in kids. The Born Learning Trail features 10 signs that encourage families to get active while strengthening young children's literacy skills. The signs instruct parents and children to do activities such as letter identification, singing, skipping, and jumping. The sign systems are sponsored in part by United Way Worldwide's strategies on early childhood education. Read more...


a10

Owner of Segway company dies in fall from cliffside trail

 

Jimi Heselden, the multi-millionaire owner of the Segway company, died in a freak accident when he rode one of the high-tech two-wheel machines off a cliff. It is believed he lost control of the machine as he travelled along a bridleway close to his estate near Boston Spa, West Yorkshire. Mr. Heselden had bought the Segway company in a deal last December and planned to further develop the machine. Read more and see photos...


FEATURES

a11

Getting kids on trails: some educational and interpretive approaches

  

What happens when a trail designer (Roger Bell), outdoor educator (Pam Johnson), and interpretive planner (Jenny Rigby) collaborate to strengthen connections between children and nature? It was just what all of us who design and build trails hope for-- the involvement of local interests, imaginative input, respect for natural values, creative ways to engage audiences, particularly children who arrive in school groups and family units. Read more and see photos... 

 


a12

Analysis of trail policies on power-driven mobility devices

 

We have gathered quite a few of the new policies to determine how land managing agencies are responding to the new rule on "other power-driven mobility devices" (OPDMD). Not surprisingly, there is a lot of variation. Some of the key issues addressed are: Use of motor vehicles, Speed limits, Use of electric vehicles, Size and weight limits, Trail limitations and assessments, Permits and permission, and Interim policies. Read more...

a13 

Mayors support increased funding for bikes and pedestrians

 

A survey of U.S. mayors of cities over 300,000 shows that 75% support increasing the federal gas tax if a greater share of the funding were invested in bicycle and pedestrian projects. They also want more control, according to the new survey by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. 93% of the mayors urge reforms in federal transportation programs to allow cities and their metropolitan areas to receive a greater share of federal funds directly. Read more...


a14

Featured National Recreation Trail: Clear Creek Trail, Colorado

 

This greenway runs from the major Denver Metro area trail, the South Platte River Greenway, to the city of Golden. Long portions of the Clear Creek Trail hug the creek margin and lend the feeling of passing through an eastern forest, unusual for the arid climate of the Colorado Front Range. The trail runs through neighborhoods as well as wetlands and conservation areas, and is accessible from several major streets. Read more and see photos...


TRAINING & EDUCATION

a15

American Trails provides workshops on key trail topics

 

You can host a variety of educational programs on important trails and greenways topics offered by American Trails. Workshops include:

 

   Understanding Accessibility and Building Better Trails

   Universal Trail Assessment Process

   Trail Crew Leadership Training

   Creating a State Trails Training Program

   Working with Developers Forum

 

Read more about the American Trails workshops...

a16

National Trails Training Partnership meets June 17 in Washington, DC

 

The National Trails Training Partnership is an alliance of federal and state agencies, organizations, colleges, and businesses working to publicize trail training programs and providers and promote cooperation on training efforts. Led by American Trails, NTTP also hosts an online clearinghouse of training and a wealth of technical resources. We invite anyone interested to join us at the next Partnership meeting in Washington DC. Read more about the National Trails Training Partnership...


a17

Find workshops and training for trail skills across America

 

The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trails advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. A wide variety of training is available for volunteers and professionals working to develop trails of all kinds. American Trails is working with agencies and organizations across America to promote trail-related training. See details on these and many more opportunities for training on trails and greenways topics in the Online Training Calendar...


a18

Upcoming trail-related training opportunities

 

June 1-4 - Calgary, Alberta, Canada

      International Snowmobile Congress 2011

 

June 6 - Huson, MT

      Defensive Horse Safety

 

June 7-10 - St Louis, MO

      Accessibility Management in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism

 

June 11-12 - Staunton State Park, Pine, CO

     Trail Skills Seminar

 

June 11-12 - Carlsbad, CA

      Tread Lightly! Master Tread Trainer Course

 

June 19-22 - Washington, DC

      American Horse Council National Issues Forum

 

July 21-23 - Auburn AL

      Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference

 

August 21-24 - Minneapolis, MN

      2011 National Scenic Byways Conference

 

September 22-25 - Bloomington, MN

      National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council Conference

 

October 2-5 - Fort Wayne, IN

      Mid America Trails & Greenways Conference

 

Look for currently scheduled courses and conferences at www.TrailsTraining.net, sponsored by American Trails and the National Trails Training Partnership. Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at NTTP@AmericanTrails.org.

NEW RESOURCES

a19

Safe Trails Forum is resource for problem solving

 

American Trails hosts the online Safe Trails Forum to share information on ways to improve the experience for users while making management more effective. The goal is to continue to improve trail safety and to assure that the risks associated with trail recreation are kept in balanced perspective. The Forum collects resources on liability, insurance, and legal issues; trail maintenance concerns; crime and accident reporting; and provides a forum for discussion. Visit the Safe Trails Forum...


a20

Trail Safety Initiatives presentation from Dallas Parks & Recreation

 

Immediate Action items among the city's Trail Safety Initiatives that have been implemented or are in the process of implementation include:

 

   Increase police presence

   Implement trail/street crossing improvements

   Update trail safety guidelines

   Promote outreach activities

   Establish the Dallas Trail Safety Advisory Committee

 

Download the slide show in PDF format (2.3 mb)...


a21

Artistic vision featured on Iowa's High Trestle Trail Bridge

 

The High Trestle Bridge north of Des Moines, Iowa, was the scene of an opening celebration April 30. The half-mile-long bridge rises 13 stories above the Des Moines River valley and includes spectacular lighting as well as artistic elements built into the structure. Now a unique element of the High Trestle Trail, the 130 foot tall river crossing is one of the tallest trail bridges in the nation. Read more and see photos...

a22

"Pathways for Play" best practices guidebook

 

Pathways for Play: Best Practices for Children, Families, and Communities is available at no cost to trail planners and others who wish to grow community capital by advocating for playful pathways. Data gathered at demonstration sites, developed as case studies for the guidebook, shows they have quickly become popular family destinations, and use by families has increased. Also, interactive tools on the supporting website www.pathwaysforplay.org allow families to share stories, photographs, and ideas, and discover books and downloadable seasonal activities to help maximize pathway enjoyment. Read more and order the Pathways for Play Guidebook...


a23

Photo gallery: Power lines along trails, railtrails, and greenways

 

Trails are often built in utility corridors of all kinds, from underground pipelines to electric power lines overhead. There may be hundreds of trails across the country that follow power line corridors. Over the years some articles have raised concerns about electro magnetic fields (EMF) emanating from power lines. However, research seems to find that trails along electric lines are safe. Read more and see photo gallery...

 

Read more articles, studies, and resources... 


JOIN THE AMERICAN TRAILS NETWORK

a23

 Help American Trails fight for funding and support for trails


Now is a great time to join American Trails to help us advocate for trails and greenways of every kind. With your help, we can increase funding for trails, keep more trails open, and improve the health and well being of Americans of all ages and abilities. Please help us continue to serve you and the trails community by enlisting a new member or renewing your own membership today. Give the gift that makes a difference ~ an American Trails membership...

 

Thank you for supporting American Trails and America's trails!

 

Donate!.........Join Now!


QUICK LINKS 


Send news and calendar items to trailhead@americantrails.org.



American Trails is a tax-exempt, nonprofit charitable organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible.

 

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Header Photo: Runners from Cascade Christian High School on the Sarah Zigler National Recreation Trail, Jacksonville, OR; photo by Larry Smith