PA Recreation and Park Society
SummerAugust 2010
IN THIS ISSUE
Training & Events
Trail Advocate Spotlight
News
Advocacy
Resources
Join Our Mailing List
 
Editor: Tim Poole
 
Graphic Design: Emily Schnellbaugh
TRAILS TO YOU SUMMER E-NEWS
 
Greetings!  
Welcome to the first Trails To You E-newsletter.  If you have not provided us with an email, please join our trails mailing list by clicking Join Our Mailing List below.
 
This E-newsletter and trail training provided by PRPS is funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources with the support of the Park Resource Branch of the PA Recreation & Park Society. 
 
DCNR new logo
 
Training & Events
Regional Trails Training:
 
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is working in partnership with the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS) to provide a series of regional trail workshops across the state during 2010.  For this year, these workshops will be hosted in place of the Greenways and Trails Summit that usually occurs during the fall of each year.  This will provide our statewide trail partners the opportunity to tailor a specific workshop to meet the training and educational needs of trail builders, maintainers and advocacy groups in their local region. 
 
DCNR and PRPS will provide funding assistance for the workshops, promote the individual workshops as a total educational package, and assist local partners in marketing this trail educational menu to the trails community statewide.   Because the topics for each workshop are diverse, almost every facet of the trails community will find a workshop suitable for their needs.  Some of the topics include economic benefits of trails, business and municipal partnerships, hospitality, role of culture and heritage, water trails, trail maintenance, keeping trail volunteers vibrant, basics of trail building, technology, trail mapping, developing regional trail organizations, creating connections, completing major corridors, easements and liability, geocaching, increasing tourism, accessibility guidelines, signage, trail design, etc.
 
Workshops scheduled to date include:
 
September 23, 2010
Schuylkill River Trail Towns Conference
Pottstown, PA
For more information, contact Kara Wilson at 484-945-0200
 
September 30 & October 1, 2010
2010 Lehigh Valley Trails Summit
Allentown, PA
For more information, contact Elissa G. Thorne at 610-923-3548
 
At this year's Fall Mini-Conference there will be a special presentation on the draft final accessibility guidelines for trails under the Architectural Barriers Act.  This will include an update on the development of accessibility guidelines for "shared use paths."  Bill Botten and Peggy Greenwell from the U.S. Access Board will also present the accessibility standards for play areas, and other recreation facilities recently adopted by the Department of Justice under the ADA.  This is must have information for anyone with facilities, trails and parks.  The brochure to register for the mini-conference will be available in mid-August on the PRPS website, www.prps.org.
 
October 12, 2010
PRPS Mini Conference - New ADA Guidelines for Trails
Upper St. Clair, PA
Brochure will be available soon from PRPS
 
October 14, 2010
PRPS Mini Conference - New ADA Guidelines for Trails
Plymouth Meeting, PA
Brochure will be available soon from PRPS
 
October 22, 2010
Western PA Trails Symposium
Cranberry, PA
For more information, contact Hannah Hardy at 412-481-9400
 
November 3, 2010
South Mountain Trail Summit
Carlisle, PA
For more information, contact Kim Williams at 717-258-5771 ext. 205
 
November 5, 2010
Ca$hing in on Geocaching
Emporium, PA
For more information, contact Wes Ramsey at 814-226-8160 ext. 119 
 
December 2, 2010
Northeastern Pennsylvania Trail Forum II
Scranton, PA
For more information, contact Colleen Carter at 570-963-6730

March 16, 2011
Laurel Highlands Trails Workshop
Ligonier, PA
For more information, contact Brad Clemenson at 814-659-3465
 
Check out www.explorepatrails.com.
 
CarlTrail Advocate Spotlight
 
Carl Knoch was recently inducted into the Keystone Society for Tourism. This Society honors Pennsylvania visionaries in destination leadership and community development.  This is the highest honor our state confers on leaders in the tourism industry. Carl received the Inspiration Award, presented to individuals who are an advocate for the industry and an agent of change. It is for those who inspire and lead their community to new achievement through the coordination of existing resources into unique visitor experiences. This award also recognized that Carl's career of service has enhanced his community while enriching its cultural and heritage assets.
 
Carl has degrees in marketing and worked in a variety of industries for nearly 30 years before finding his passion in trails.  In 1998 he joined the York County Rail Trail Authority as a volunteer director and he has served as the Authority chair since 2000.  Carl has used his marketing skills to study and promote trails, with a special emphasis on the economic benefits and small business development that can result from trails.  He has conducted numerous trail user surveys and economic impact analysis and has been a leading spokesman for those findings at national, state and local conferences.  In April of 2006, Carl joined the staff of the Northeast Regional office of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy as Manager of Trail Development.  His responsibilities include providing technical assistance on trail development and management to non-profit groups, local governments, and state agencies in the eight-state northeast region.  In October 2007, Carl was honored by the Pennsylvania Planning Association with a Distinguished Leadership Award for a Citizen Planner.
News
 
$23 Million in Federal Stimulus Money for PA-NJ Trail Networks 
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, officials from six counties, and agencies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey cooperated to secure funding from the Federal government's TIGER program. A total of $23 million in federal stimulus money is headed to Delaware Valley pedestrian and bicycle trails - plans that have been in the works for years.Read more... 
 
 
2010 NRT Designations 
From U.S. Department of the Interior
National Rec Trail logo"From coast to coast, the National Trails System helps connect American families with the wonders of the great outdoors," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "These new National Recreation Trails, built through partnerships with local communities and stakeholders, will create new opportunities for fitness and stewardship while creating a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren."This announcement was made as part of National Trails Day on June 5, 2010, when trail dedications and other activities took place at new and existing trails.

The following trails were designated as National Recreation Trails for 2010:

PENNSYLVANIA
ˇ Cumberland Valley Rail Trail
The Cumberland Valley Rail Trail follows the old Cumberland Valley Railroad rail corridor for 9.5 miles, from Shippensburg to Newville, through the rich, rolling, picturesque farmlands of western Cumberland County in south-central Pennsylvania. Wooded stands of native trees shade much of this historically significant route. Trail enthusiasts can enjoy walking, jogging, bicycling, horseback riding and other non-motorized recreational uses. A grassy bridle path parallels the pedestrian path along the entire length.

ˇ Mason-Dixon Trail
This 30-mile section of the 193-mile Mason-Dixon Trail is a hiking trail that follows the lower Susquehanna River from Wrightsville to the Norman Wood Bridge. There are beautiful views, deep ravines with waterfalls, and several big climbs and descents to where streams have carved out canyons in the river hills.

ˇ Three Rivers Heritage Trail
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is an urban rail-trail paralleling the riverbanks in the Pittsburgh area for about 21 miles, often on both sides of the rivers. The trail is part of the Great Allegheny Passage, theErie to Pittsburgh Trail, and the Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Mainline Canal Greenway. It offers spectacular views of the city. Recent surveys indicate diverse use of the trail for recreation and commuting purposes.  This trail was recently the featured NRT on the American Trails web site.  Read more and see photos...
 
ˇ Three Rivers Water Trail
Riverfront festival on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in Pittsburgh (photo by Mary Shaw; all rights reserved)
Three Rivers
The Three Rivers Water Trail is a series of public non-motorized access points within the 90 riverfront municipalities of Allegheny County. It is an urban water trail which follows the Three Rivers in the Pittsburgh area for about 75 miles. The trail extends to Sewickley on the Ohio River, Harrison on the Allegheny River, and Elizabeth on the Monongahela River, and is easily accessed from the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. The Three Rivers Water Trail is part of the statewide water trail system, connecting to the Youghiogheny River Trail and the Kiski-Conemaugh River Water Trail.
 
  
Great Allegheny Passage Named Among 10 Best
Great Allegheny Passage LogoUSA Today named the Great Allegheny Passage one of ten best rail trail rides in the United States in an article published May 21. Rail trails, including the Passage, benefit from gentle rail grades, attracting a wide variety of bikers. As a result, bike rentals and other amenities continue to grow along the trail corridor.  Jennifer Kaleba of the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy noted of the GAP: "This could be an entire vacation." Photo of Salisbury Viaduct courtesy of Allegheny Trail Alliance
 
 
 
Bridges Installed on Great Allegheny Passage
A major milestone toward completion of the trail
Prefabricated bridges were recently placed over rail lines in Duquesne and Whitaker, eliminating two of the biggest obstacles to completing the Great Allegheny Passage to Pittsburgh. Read more in the July 8, 2010, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article.
 
  
GAP Trail Towns Program Enters Phase Two
Trail Town logoThe Trail Town ProgramŽ is now entering Phase Two of its Strategic Plan. David Kahley, President & CEO of The Progress Fund, recently announced.
 
The Trail Town ProgramŽ is a community development initiative of The Progress Fund, which launched the program in 2007 in conjunction with the Allegheny Trail Alliance and numerous funding agencies and foundations. The program now works in six trail towns within Pennsylvania as well as in the communities of Frostburg, Cumberland, and Oldtown in Maryland.
 
"In Phase One we helped the communities assess their own ability to provide the range of services demanded by the growing number of users of the Great Allegheny Passage. I want to thank Cathy McCollom our past Program Director for her energy and articulation of the goals of the program during the first 3 ˝ years. In Phase Two, we will continue that work but place more emphasis on supporting small businesses within the towns and along the GAP," said Kahley.
 
Amy Camp, Trail Town ProgramŽ Manager, will continue her work in the nine Trail Towns. A new real estate development initiative is in the works and will soon enable The Progress Fund to increase its financing of small business development in Trail Towns.
 
Any questions should be directed to Amy Camp, Program Manager, or David Kahley, President & CEO, at (724) 216-9160.
  
 
Engaging Youth
Courtesy of the National Park Service
Even when the goal is to get people out to enjoy the real world of nature, it makes sense to start online*.  Reaching out through social media can engage young people in a conversation about their needs, interests, and motivation for getting outside and getting involved.  So, it's no surprise that youth-focused outdoor organizations emphasize their online presences through Twitter, Facebook fan pages, interactive websites, and blogs where youth provide the content.  Young people are excited about using these tools to share their thoughts and shape the dialogue about getting youth outdoors.

Now, the Department of the Interior is joining that dialogue.  Secretary Ken Salazar created the Office of Youth in the Great Outdoors to help coordinate the Department's efforts to employ, educate, and engage young people from all backgrounds in exploring, connecting with, and preserving America's natural and cultural heritage. "This is an exciting opportunity," said Julie Rodriguez, Director of the new office. "Young people have such an amazing energy and insight into many of the challenges and problems we face as a nation and in individual communities.  It's something that is too often overlooked or not utilized effectively."

This office brings the youth outreach efforts of each Interior bureau and agency under one umbrella.  And soon, social media tools like Facebook and Twitter and a dedicated website will enable the agencies and the public to get information and engage in conversation about youth programs and events.  Noting that such a conversation is a two-way street, Rodriguez says "We need to give young people a seat at the table and engage them in meaningful ways... not just as a target audience."

*According to the Kaiser Family Foundation study of media use in the lives of 8-18 year olds, the most popular computer activity for this age group is visiting social media sites like Facebook.  Four out of ten young people are spending almost an hour on one or more of these sites every day.
 
Advocacy
 

Renew Growing Greener Coalition seeks funding that would include support for trails and greenways. 

RGG LogoA broad coalition of organizations has joined together to work for renewed funding for the popular Growing Greener program that has successfully supported a broad range of environment, conservation, and park related projects.  Unfortunately, the GG2 bond funds are all committed and the GG funds are largely earmarked to repay GG2 bond costs so the coalition is seeking to "renew" growing greener at a level of $200 million per year in new funding for at least five years to continue to effectively address the needs of the Commonwealth.

The Renew Growing Greener Coalition (RGG) has established two websites,www.growinggreener.info which is the public information and educational site, and www.growinggreener.com which is the advocacy site.  You are encouraged to visit both of these sites as well as the Statement of Support for Renew Growing Greener and the list of current supporters.  Please consider becoming an individual supporter as well as having your organization sign-on! 

Here is the shortcut directly to the Statement of Support located in the Library section of the RGG educational website: 

http://growinggreener.info/uploaded_files/0000/0009/RGG_Flyer_04_2010_organizations_duplex.pdf. 

 
Help Save the Recreational Trails Program! 
The nation's surface transportation legislation- including the Recreational Trails Program (RTP)- expires in December. While Congress is likely to extend most of the SAFETEA-LU provisions short-term, there are no guarantees as the Administration and the Congress search for ways to cut spending. And RTP is at risk in the long-delayed, long-term reauthorization of surface transportation programs. We need your help!

Would the trails in your state suffer if RTP disappears? You and other trails advocates across the nation need to speak out to prevent that very real possibility.

The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) is working hard to ensure continued and increased funding for the Recreational Trails Program. We are very proud to report that the letters we sent to Congress in support of the RTP last year -signed by 269 organizations -demonstrates the number and diversity of trail user groups that support the program.This has impressed Capitol Hill! Please help us continue to deliver this message and grow the list of RTP supporters!

CRT's reauthorization position for RTP is provided as a one-page paper. Please feel free to use it as you talk to your leaders. Please note that if CRT's platform should change, you will be informed. You can use the attached sign-on form or send interested organizations to www.AmericanTrails.org/rtp to learn more and download the form.

You may also want to try out the redesigned database of the National Recreation Trails! The Online NRT Database contains information on 1,087 National Recreation Trails in all 50 states. Discover new trails in your own area or across the country. You can search for all designated trails in any state or look up a specific trail by name. Other search functions enable you to display trails by land manager, trail type, or trail activities.Visit the National Recreation Trails online database...
Resources
 
Google Maps Passage and Other Bike Trails
Google Maps now features information describing 30,000 miles of bike trails, including the Great Allegheny Passage. Bikers can use this online search tool to find bike lanes, provide the most direct route for their bike trip, and even avoid hills! Read Google's official announcement and how-to-use blog page.
 
 
PennDOT Website Offers Ways to 'Green' Your Commute 
To help residents explore the many alternative transportation options available across the state, the Department of Transportation recently launched the PACommutes website: http://www.pacommutes.com/.

"This website offers a wide range of alternative ways to commute or travel through the state and makes it easy for them to adapt those methods into their lives," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "We've brought together a vast amount of resources from PennDOT, other state agencies, transportation providers and even biking clubs to help people save money and help the environment."
 
 
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Expands Web Offerings

submitted by Stephen Miller, Urban Pathways Coordinator, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy 
Rails to Trails logoYou may have noticed that at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy we have been adding new features to our Web site. To use them, visit theTrail Building section of our Web site. These new features include:
 
 
Of course, our Trail Building Toolbox, Early Warning System, for-hire service information and Trails & Greenways Listserv are all still available. We hope these resources are useful to you - and we encourage you to contribute to them.
This E-newsletter is published quarterly as a service to PRPS members and other interested persons.  Opinions expressed are those of the listed authors.  The editors encourage submissions reflecting on educational information for trails.  You are encouraged to submit your article for review on disc or by email to: PRPS, Attn: Emily Schnellbaugh, 2131 Sandy Drive, State College, PA 16803 or email eschnellbaugh@prps.org or to the editor at info@greendiamondtrails.com
 
 

 
 
Sent by Emily Schnellbaugh, Communications Coordinator
PA Recreation and Park Society