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Trail Tracks is our monthly e-Newsletter with links to www.AmericanTrails.org, one of the world's most comprehensive online resources for planning, designing, building, funding, managing, and enhancing trails and greenways. We also bring you news from the halls of Congress, new studies and resources, interesting articles, events, and training opportunities. Check the topics below for what's new in the trails world!
Special thanks to the sponsor of this issue:
Join us June 13 for our webinar on the art of sustainable trail management
Join us June 13 for our 6th webinar in the American Trails Advancing Trails Webinar Series titled "The Art of Sustainable Trail Management" presented by Tony Boone Trails, LLC. Learn the basics behind developing and managing natural surface, shared-used trail systems. Topics ranging from bench cut construction to rolling contour design will be covered. The webinar is geared primarily towards beginning and intermediate level trailbuilders: including volunteers, agency staff, and professional trail crews. Additional webinars may follow and provide significantly more detailed sessions ranging from risk management to dry-laid stone work, according to student needs and past requests. Learn more and sign up...
House and Senate begin conferencing on new transportation bill
The House and Senate began a conference committee in early May to try to reconcile their versions of a new transportation bill. If Democrats and Republicans can't agree on a final bill, Congress will have to extend the existing SAFETEA-LU yet again. Trails and bike/ped programs are included in the authorization, which expires Sept. 30. The conference committee is trying to address two very different visions for transportation, which would have big impacts on trails and bike/ped programs. Watch for updates and action alerts to support trails...
New Online Business Directory look means special limited time offer for advertisers
The American Trails Online Business Directory has a new look which means a special, limited time offer for advertisers! Until the end of May, advertisers can take advantage of the $295/year (less than $25/month) price for a listing in the Business Directory that includes a profile webpage complete with photos, links, and can be updated any time throughout the year. The price will go up to $495/year (less than $45/month) after May 31. We have studied other onsite Business Directories and our new look is user friendly, includes a search function, is interactive, and our office can make updates and add new listings quickly and easily. Read our current advertiser testimonials sprinkled throughout the Business Directory to see how valuable our Directory has been to our vendors! Check out the Business Directory today and see how to become an advertiser...
June is time for National Trails DayŽ and Great Outdoors Month
June is a special time to celebrate America's Great Outdoors. Presidential recognition of the American Recreation Coalition's Great Outdoors Week and proclamations from governors across America are featured along with tours, work days, and celebrations. One special day in June is sponsored by the American Hiking Society and a variety of partners: National Trails DayŽ 2012 will be held Saturday, June 2. The Boy Scouts of America are joining in this year to highlight the 20th anniversary of NTD. June is a great month to get some work done, recognize volunteers, and celebrate outdoor recreation. Read more about Great Outdoors Month and National Trails Day...
Take action for trails: get the facts and contacts in one place
American Trails "SUPPORTING TRAILS" pages provide the latest on current issues and debates and the ongoing efforts of American Trails to continue its 24 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 transportation reauthorization process, Federal land management agency budgets, and more. We continuously add news and action items to these pages. Check back often and forward this link on through your networks...
Opportunity for input: FHWA National Online Dialogue on Improving Transportation Performance
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has planned a virtual event that will occur over the next month to engage in an online discussion with a broad external audience on transportation performance management. The outreach event, National Online Dialogue on Improving Transportation Performance, will be hosted by FHWA and will run from Monday, May 21st to Friday, June 22nd. During the dialogue, federal, state, tribal and local transportation professionals will have the opportunity to share and discuss experiences and strategies for improving the safety, condition, and mobility of our nation's highways and connecting road networks using an online message posting system where participants can contribute by posting a message and rating and responding to other postings on the site. Stories and strategies captured during the dialogue will inform FHWA's approach to engage communities in the use of performance management principles. That approach will be shared with the public in August 2012. Read more and participate...
Introducing the hosts for the 21st American Trails International Trails Symposium
It all started back in early 2011 when the community of Arizona -- specifically the Fountain Hills, Mesa, and Scottsdale area (just east of Phoenix) -- submitted a proposal to host the 21st American Trails International Trails Symposium. Among the key players in making this collaboration possible and gathering support from all over the state of Arizona included Arizona State Parks, Central Arizona Project, Radisson Fort McDowell Resort, Fountain Hills Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mesa Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"We are pleased to hold our 21st American Trails International Trails Symposium at the elegant Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Resort Destination! Besides the endless beauty of the northern-most part of the Sonoran Desert; the towering, blooming saguaro; flowering ocotillo; jumping cholla; agave; lovely palo verde; soaring hawks; mountain lion tracks; dramatic mountains; and endless sunshine- we are excited to show off the bountiful trail activities within close proximity for all trail types including hiking, bicycling, equestrian, OHV, mountain bicycling, and water. The Fountain Hills, Mesa, and Scottsdale communities are excited for our arrival and look forward to serving the trails community in the Valley of the Sun."
-- Pam Gluck, Executive Director, American Trails
Learn more about the hosts and the Symposium...
Exhibitors: learn how to get your logo on the American Trails homepage
Calling all exhibitors! Through the end of May any exhibitor or sponsor of the 21st American Trails International Trails Symposium will get a logo listed on the American Trails homepage as well as on the Symposium webpages in our sponsor feeds. Exhibitors can also take advantage of getting an article in one issue of our Trail Tracks e-Newsletter, should they choose to write one. This article will be archived on the American Trails website. And don't forget July 31st is the deadline to save 15% off exhibitor fees. Learn more and download the exhibitor contract...
Thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors!
We want to extend a huge thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors to date for the 21st American Trails International Trails Symposium! Learn more and link to these exhibitor's websites...
- Arizona State Parks
- Central Arizona Project
- Radisson Fort McDowell Resort
- Fountain Hills CVB
- Mesa CVB
- Scottsdale CVB
- National Park Service
- US Fish & Wildlife Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- US Forest Service
- US DOT Federal Highway Administration
- American Quarter Horse Association - STEP Program
- Aztec Engineering
- Okanogan Trail Construction, Inc.
- Advanced Resource Solutions, Inc.
- American Conservation Experience
- The Acorn Group/Acorn Naturalists
- Asphalt Systems/USA Soy Solutions
- Backcountry Horsemen of America
- Bellfree Contractors, Inc.
- Beneficial Designs
- E.T. Techtonics, Inc.
- Envirosigns, Ltd.
- Erica Fielder Studio
- Gail Materials
- Interpretive Graphics, Signs, & Systems
- K Design
- Kay-Linn Enterprises
- National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council
- Northwest Woodland Services, Inc.
- Pioneer Bridges
- Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls
- Professional Trailbuilders Association
- Rhino Marking & Protection Systems
- RideNow Powersports
- Rockart Signs & Markers
- Santa Fe Trail Association
- Southwest Conservation Corps
- Terrabilt Wayfinding Systems
- Voss Signs
Richmond, VA embraces variety of trail opportunities
"Richmond is being transformed, one trail at a time, into a haven of opportunity for bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts of all types," reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Volunteers are preparing to build, at minimal cost to the city, a bicycle skills training course on Belle Isle for mountain bikers and road racers alike. Helped by the Virginia National Guard, the city is preparing to cut the ribbon on the first half-mile of the Cannon Creek Greenway, built next to the site of demolished public housing. Read more...
| NEW RESOURCES|
Spring issue of American Trails Magazine ~ available now!
The Spring issue of the American Trails Magazine is hot off the press! You can view it now online on the American Trails website. We included some great articles that will take you around the world of trails. Learn how New Zealand built their world renowned cycle system; see China launch a new greenway system; gather ideas on how a partnership works amongst the Back Country Horsemen, the California Conservation Corps, and the Forest Service; and explore the wonderful trails and outdoor activities that Fountain Hills, Arizona has to offer as one of the host cities for the 21st American Trails International Trails Symposium. Read more...
New book details land preservation case histories
Terry Whaley, Executive Director of Ozark Greenways, Inc. and American Trails Board Member, reviewed "Lasting Value: Open Space Planning and Preservation Success," published by the American Planning Association. Terry says it's "a great read for advocates of open space, the land trust professional, or volunteer board and committee members of land trusts." The book illustrates "a variety of successful projects from across the country that creatively demonstrate what can be accomplished in communities that take the preservation of open spaces seriously." Learn more and read the review...
American Trails Annual Website Roundup
American Trails continues our annual showcase of some of the best websites for trails and greenways. We have recognized websites in several categories to showcase the ways that trail organizations, communities, and agencies are using the internet. Our goal is to recognize the diversity of the trails community, including urban trails and bikeways, greenways, wilderness trails, motorized routes, water trails, and winter trails.
Visit these great websites for information, ideas, and inspiration!
| TRAINING & EDUCATION|
Purchase archived webinar on best practices for interpretive panels for trails
The American Trails' webinar, "Telling a Better Story: Best Practices for Developing Interpretive Panels for Trails," focuses on strategies for captivating your trail audience with provocative, well designed interpretive panels. Get practical advice for developing theme-based messages, establishing budgets, selecting images and design elements, understanding how visitors learn, writing interpretive text, and preparing files for production. Learn about case studies, and take away interpretive sign valuable tips and techniques to turn ordinary panels into extraordinary experiences. American Trails members save! Purchase a copy of the archived webinar today....
American Canoe Association provides adaptive paddling workshops
Several Adaptive Paddling Workshops will be offered during 2012. These workshops are designed to provide instructors, outfitters, recreation program providers, and rehabilitation professionals with the information they need to integrate paddlers with disabilities into their programs. Read more and see workshop schedule...
Training opportunities: see our online calendar
Check the Online Training Calendar for a wide variety of learning opportunities for volunteers and professionals engaged with trails of all kinds. American Trails, through the National Trails Training Partnership, works with agencies and organizations across America to promote trail-related training. Let us know if we can publicize your training, courses, workshops, or conferences! See details on events below and many more opportunities for training on the Online Trails Training Calendar...
Upcoming summer trail-related training opportunities in 2012:
May 24 - Webinar: Assessing and Creating More Accessible Water Trails
* Online Webinar: 10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Pacific ~ PURCHASE NOW!
June 2 - On trails across America!
* American Hiking Society's National Trails DayŽ
June 2-3 - USFS Columbine Trail in Salida, CO
* Salida Crew Leadership for Trails Training
June 6-9 - School Delafield, WI
* Wisconsin Trail Design and Construction
June 6-9 - Sturbridge, MA
* International Snowmobile Congress
June 7-9 - Lewisburg, PA
* OHV Recreation Management Workshop
June 7-10 - Durham, NH
* Adaptive Paddling Workshop
June 13 - Webinar: The Art of Sustainable Trail Management
* Online Webinar: 10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Pacific ~ PURCHASE NOW!
June 18-21 - Ingersoll/Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
* Trailhead Ontario
June 19-20, 2012 - Greenfield, NH
* Sustainable Trails for All and Trail Accessibility Guidelines
June 21-23 - Workshop Glenwood Springs, CO
* Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition 12th Annual
June 21-24 - Akron, OH
* Adaptive Paddling Workshop
June 26-29 -Vancouver, BC, Canada
* Velo-City Global 2012 Conference
July 12-14 - Lexington, KY
* Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference
Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Attend, Exhibit, Sponsor! The 21st American Trails International Trails Symposium (ITS) ~ April 14-17, 2013. Check out the early exhibitor discounts and benefits and their deadlines!
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Header photo: Utah Conservation Corps working in Wasatch Hollow Open Space, Salt Lake City; photo by Christie Jackson