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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.
President, States, declare June as Great Outdoors Month
President Obama and most states have signed proclamations for Great Outdoors Month, June 2011. The event is sponsored by the American Recreation Coalition to celebrate the healthful benefits of active fun outdoors, as well as our priceless legacy of parks, trails, rivers, wildlife areas, open space, and public lands and waters. GO Month is also an opportunity to remind the news media about the many vital issues related to outdoor recreation, including volunteerism, healthy kids, funding, and stewardship.
Read more and download state proclamations...
74 Members of Congress from both parties agreed to support the RTP
National trail and outdoor recreation groups expressed their appreciation and thanks as 74 Members of Congress signed on to support the Recreational Trails Program. The letter is directed to key Congressional leaders who are currently writing the next Federal transportation funding bill, and calls for reauthorization of the trails funding program. The letter notes, "The philosophy behind the RTP is simple: fuel taxes collected from non-highway users should benefit those who paid the taxes... As the Committee works to streamline and consolidate programs, it should continue to recognize the unique character of this program." Read more and view members of Congress who signed in support of RTP...
150 Members of the U.S. House support LWCF funding
A bipartisan group of 150 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies expressing their strong support for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in fiscal year 2012. The letter goes on to state that "In these very difficult economic times, we believe these LWCF investments are essential investments that will yield important economic benefits to local communities now and into the future." Read more and download House letter...
Public comment sought on accessibility for "shared use paths"
The Access Board is requesting public comment by June 27, 2011 on Proposed Rulemaking to develop accessibility guidelines for shared use paths. Shared use paths are designed for both transportation and recreation purposes and are used by pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, equestrians, and other users. The guidelines will include technical provisions for making newly constructed and altered shared use paths covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA) accessible to persons with disabilities. Read more and learn how to submit comments...
Pathways for Play Webinar: Engaging kids and families on the trail
The first webinar American Trails hosted in late May filled up quickly, bringing us to schedule a second webinar for this popular topic. American Trails, together with PlayCore and the Natural Learning Initiative, invite you to attend this informative webinar. Pathways for Play intentionally integrates play- critical for children's health- into walkable, bikeable shared use pathway networks to provide opportunities for playing along the way, and encouraging use by children and families! Learn best practice guidelines for upgrading or designing new systems that extend play value, enable health promotion, reinforce environmental literacy, and grow community social capital!
Host: American Trails
Presenter and Program Author: Robin Moore, Dipl Arch., MCP, Director, Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University
Date: Tuesday, June 28
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.
Space is limited.
Reserve your webinar seat now...
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...
SPECIAL OFFER for American Trails members from Rhino Marking & Protection Systems
Rhino Marking & Protection Systems, a proud long-time Patron Member of American Trails, is offering a very special offer exclusively through American Trails on the durable Rhino TriView™ Marker Post with 360° visibility, high-strength impact resistance, UV-protection, with multiple installation options. Available in 12 post colors with 12 top cover colors- perfect for marking and identifying separate trails and trail networks.
Purchase 50 of the 66" TriView Marker Posts for only $500. This represents a huge 1/3 savings off the regular price of $15.00 each. This special is only good until June 30th. Complete details can be found here...
American Trails Magazine Spring 2011 issue in digital format
The American Trails Magazine is your resource for timely, state-of-the-art information on all aspects of trails and greenways. We cover news, legislation, action items, trainings, success stories, events, people making a difference, creative funding ideas, the latest resources, information on products and services you need, and much more!
Items in this issue:
Read the Spring 2011 issue of the American Trails Magazine now...
- Powered mobility on the trails
- Healthy trails in Greenville, SC
- Getting kids on trails
- Featured trail: The High Line in Manhattan
San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail receives $1 million
The California Coastal Conservancy approved $1 million in funding to begin implementation of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Plan on March 17, 2011. The Water Trail would bring education about personal boating, navigational safety, and appropriate boating behavior to the boating public through a variety of means. An exhaustive evaluation of the proposal provides documentation of benefits as well as sensitive wildlife species and shoreline habitat. Read more...
Huron River Watershed Council plans 100-mile water trail
Laura Rubin, director of the council, said the trail could help to create a "river renaissance" to boost economic development and river tourism in southeast Michigan. Heavy industry in Michigan along rivers like the Huron has faded, clearing the water and opening up opportunities for recreation. "By improving recreational access to the river, we're hoping it helps spark businesses or liveries, restaurants along the river, and also increases it as a destination in terms of tourism dollars," Rubin said. Read more...
Iron Goat Trail links hikers with Cascade Mountains history
One of the more interesting, deeply historical, and family friendly hiking trails in the Northwest has just reopened for the summer season. The Iron Goat Trail in the gorgeous Sky Valley in Washington State just off U.S. Highway 2 takes you to the site of one of the worst industrial age disasters in American history- and the worst natural disaster with the greatest number of fatalities in Washington history- the Wellington train disaster on March 1, 1910. Read more and see photos...
Trails can make economic sense
"Just Say No" may work as an anti-drug slogan, but it's abysmally poor leadership in times like these. Advocates for a Newton County rail-trail are well-versed in the economic results seen by other communities. A trail is not the only answer. But, it is a proven approach for which we have investment dollars in hand. If elected leaders have other strategies, they owe it to us to share that vision now, for the sands of the hourglass have long since shifted against us. Read more...
Volunteers work to improve Whiskeytown "Ditch of Death"
About 60 volunteers worked on a popular trail at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area in Redding, CA on Saturday to make it easier to use for bikers, hikers, and horseback riders. The Redding Mountain Biking Club, Whiskeytown officials, and volunteers spent most of the day working to realign an erosion-prone section of the Clear Creek Canal Trail. Aside from preventing potentially harmful erosion, the crews also were trying to make the trail more accessible to hikers. Club member Pete Harrigan said, "We're improving this trail for people to walk because they've avoided it." Read more and see photos...
National Recreation Trails designated: 41 trails for 2011
Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin have announced the designation of 41 trails as National Recreation Trails, adding almost 650 miles of trails to the National Trails System. Spanning across 17 states, the land and water trails provide opportunities for communities to connect with nature and enjoy the great outdoors as part of a healthier lifestyle. The trails will be added to the online NRT database and featured with new web pages on the American Trails website. Read more...
National Blueways Initiative proposed in America's Great Outdoors report
The America's Great Outdoors report by the U.S. Department of the Interior includes a recommendation on establishing a National Recreational Blueway Trails Initiative. American Rivers has been working to establish a national Blueways Initiative, which would focus on the "development and protection of water trails across the country under existing authority of the National Trails System Act." American Trails in its role as lead nonprofit for the Recreation Trails Program, will be participating in discussions on this issue with the Federal land management agencies, as well as the many national organizations that support land and water trails. Read more...
Florida Trails Expo inspires young equestrians to action
Florida Youth Equestrian Trails Expo is designed to inspire young people to become active trail users, encourage advocacy and volunteerism for horse trails, and offer education in land conservation ethics. According to Alexandra H. Weiss of the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails, "Involving youth in today's and tomorrow's land stewardship issues is critical to the success of this country's greenways and trails efforts. We must assist youth and youth group leaders in order to make this happen. Many already do this as part of their charge. But it needs to be raised in priority." Read more...
"Inside the Outdoors" brings environmental education to the trail
Inside the Outdoors is an environmental education program administered in California by the Orange County Department of Education. Each year it serves over 140,000 students from four counties. According to Roger Bell, American Trails board member, "These kids will be future stewards of the land, fully prepared to protect, conserve, and learn from their outdoor world, and they will as one consequence come to value trail systems and open spaces as important parts of their communities and outdoor opportunities." Read more and see photos...
What do you do if you encounter a marijuana cultivation site?
Illegal planting, growing, and harvesting of marijuana continues to increase on the National Forests, as well as state lands across the country. Besides major impacts on the land such as toxic chemicals, waste and litter, and illegal cutting of trees, the activities bring criminal gangs into the backcountry. But for the hiker or rider exploring our public lands, these grow sites pose a serious safety hazard. Read what to watch for and how to protect yourself...
| TRAINING & EDUCATION|
Mountain bicyclists offer trail schools nationwide
The International Mountain Bicycling Association and Subaru host Trail Care Crew programs in many locations across the US and Canada. They combine interactive learning, hands-on trailwork, and top-notch instructors to develop skilled trailworkers and trailwork leaders. Topics covered include: Sustainable trail design; Basic construction; Trail reroutes; Rockwork; Fostering volunteer clubs and partnerships; Effective use of signage. Look for Subaru-IMBA Trailbuilding Schools on the online Calendar...
National Trails Training Partnership: Your link to training and education
American Trails is working with agencies and organizations across America to promote trail-related training. The National Trails Training Partnership is an effort by trails advocates to improve opportunities for training for the nationwide trails community. The goal of the Partnership is to work with agencies and trails organizations that are involved in education to make training more available. Read more about the National Trails Training Partnership...
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...
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...
Upcoming trail-related training opportunities:
June 19-22 - Washington, DC
· American Horse Council National Issues Forum
June 23-24 - Greenfield, NH
· Accessible Trails Workshop
June 28 - Webinar
· Pathways for Play: Best practices for engaging children and families on the trail (hosted by American Trails, PlayCore, and the Natural Learning Initiative)
June 31 - Brunswick, ME
· 4th Annual Active Communities Conference
July 1-8 - Emory, VA
· Appalachian Trail Conservancy's 38th Biennial Conference
July 16-17 - Staunton State Park, CO
· Crew Leadership for Trails Training
July 21-23 - Auburn, AL
· Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference
July 30-31 - Norden, CA
· 2nd Annual Tahoe Trail Skills College
August 11-14 - Dayton, OH
· North Country Trail Annual Conference
August 16 - Webinar - "Mark your calendar!"
· "Making the Case" for Trails in Tight Economic Times ~ Hosted by American Trails, the Florida Office of Greenways & Trails, and the Great Allegheny Passage Trail Towns Program. (Check the American Trails Calendar in July to register.)
August 31-September 2 - Sydney, Australia
· Australian National Tracks and Trails 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|
Design and development guide for Miami's Ludlam Trail
The "Ludlam Trail Design Guidelines and Standards" includes research on best practices principles, lessons learned, and recommendations. A detailed plan, section, and illustrative perspective were prepared for each of the eight study areas along the trail. These guidelines and standards were developed to work in concert with other regional and corridor specific studies and planning efforts. In addition, these guidelines and standards intend to inform decision makers on future designs of nonmotorized urban shared-use trails and paths within Miami-Dade County. Read more and download document...
Safe Trails Forum is a tool for trail safety
American Trails hosts the online Safe Trails Forum to share information on ways to improve the experience for users as well 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...
Art and benches for trails and bridges by artist Judy Bales
Judy Bales has designed enhancements for numerous trail and highway bridges in Arizona and Iowa and has competed as a finalist in public art projects throughout the country. A variety of examples on her Public Art website show creative ways to add interest to utilitarian structures along trails. See photos and project descriptions...
Forever Green Tennessee tax funds parks and open space
A coalition of supporters worked to pass Tennessee's Real Estate Transfer Tax to purchase land for state parks and natural areas; fund improvements at local parks; and clean up streams and protect wetlands. When the 107th Tennessee General Assembly adjourned on May 21, 2011, they left a FY 2011-2012 budget in place that includes all four of the Tennessee Real Estate Transfer Funds. This is $16.5 million for clean water, woods, and wildlife. Read more...
Upper Tampa Bay Trail adopts 9-1-1 numbering program
Hillsborough County (FL) in partnership with the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Office and 9-1-1 Dispatch introduced a new emergency response numbering system on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail. The system allows emergency responders to pinpoint citizens in need of help and permit trail users to specify areas of the trail that require maintenance. Staff from the county parks department placed bright yellow decals along the trail at approximately 200-foot intervals. Read more and see photos...
Photo gallery: Signs showing allowed and prohibited activities
How do you easily convey to trail visitors what activities are allowed and, more importantly, NOT allowed? The most common graphic devices are variations on the international symbols. Flexible fiberglass flat posts are typically used with stick-on user symbols on federal lands, but the vandal- and vehicle-resistant posts are also appropriate for some urban situations. Other signs provide the allowed or prohibited trail uses with some explanation or user etiquette in both urban and backcountry settings. Read more and see photo gallery...
| JOIN THE AMERICAN TRAILS NETWORK|
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...
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