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April 14-17, 2013
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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!
Advertising opportunities in our Trail Tracks e-Newsletter! Find out more here.
The last battle: two states "opt out" of federal trails funding
As part of the Coalition for Recreational Trails, American Trails and other groups worked to raise the issue of States being allowed to opt out of the Recreational Trails Program. As one result, there would be no funding for state trails program operation in addition to losing the grant funds. The dust has finally settled, and it appears that only two states have declined the RTP funding, but it was a close contest for state trails programs in a few others. Read more...
American Trails Webinar on "The Third Mode" available online
A part of the American Trails Advancing Trails Webinar Series, "The Third Mode: Connecting Greenways, Trails and Active Mobility" looks at the latest issues and policies in the planning and design of urban mobility networks and how these can best integrate with greenway and trail networks to create seamless metro-wide systems. Purchase an archived version of this webinar available in the American Trails Online Store!
Jeff Olson, a partner with Alta Planning + Design, has just authored a book called "The Third Mode: Towards a Green Society." The webinar was a national launch event for The Third Mode, and was hosted by American Trails. The first 100 to sign up for the webinar received a complimentary digital copy of the book. We had overwhelming response to this webinar and the first 100 complimentary digital copies of the book went fast. But the good news is that you can purchase your very own digital copy for only $3.33 at www.TheThirdMode.com. A hard copy of the book will be available in November. Proceeds from the national book launch event benefited American Trails. The webinar connected to the book's theme with simultaneous presentations by three of America's leaders in active mobility joining in from three different places:
Learn more about the webinar and the presenters here.
Enter the 2012 National Recreation Trails photo contest
American Trails sponsors an annual contest for photographs of National Recreation Trails across the country. We provide awards in several categories and showcase the winners (and all the entries) on the NRT website. The goal is to highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails. We're looking for good photos of trail users as well as special facilities, art on the trails, management issues, construction, and volunteers. Read more and see photos from previous contests...
2013 state funding for trails and transportation alternatives
We now have the total state "apportionments" for transportation programs for the new federal fiscal year, FY2013, which started October 1. We are also able to compare Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and Transportation Alternatives (TA) funding by state, including the percentage of total TA funds represented by RTP in each state. The percentages range from a low of 5.132% in Texas to a high of 43.311% in Maine. The concern is the appearance that RTP competes with other TA programs - specifically bike/ped programs and Safe Routes to School. Read more and see funding by state...
Using your smartphone to plan, navigate, and share your adventures on the trail
American Trails welcomes a new advertiser and partner, ViewRanger, who has a mobile app that turns your smartphone into a powerful outdoor GPS. With ViewRanger, you can use your smartphone - even without cell coverage - to view high quality maps, locate exactly where you are, and record your 'trail' (including photos) so you can later see where you've been and share the experience with your friends and family. Learn more about ViewRanger in the Ameican Trails Online Business Directory...
Thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors!
Exhibitors: sign up with your support by October 31 and save 10%!
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...
- American Trails
- Arizona State Parks
- Radisson Fort McDowell Resort Destination
- Central Arizona Project
- Fountain Hills CVB
- Mesa CVB
- Scottsdale CVB
- US DOT Federal Highway Administration
- National Park Service
- USDA Forest Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- USDA Forest Service - Trails Unlimited
- The Acorn Group / Acorn Naturalists
- Advanced Resource Solutions, Inc.
- American Conservation Experience
- American Quarter Horse Association - STEP Program
- Arizona Community Foundation
- Asphalt Systems / USA Soy Solutions
- Aztec Engineering Group, Inc.
- Backcountry Horsemen of America
- Bellfree Contractors, Inc.
- Beneficial Designs
- Black Canyon Trail Coalition
- City of Phoenix
- Coe and Van Loo Consultants
- Contech Engineered Solutions
- Creative Pultrusions, Inc.
- E.T. Techtonics, Inc.
- Envirosigns, Ltd.
- Erica Fielder Studio
- Gail Materials
- Interpretive Graphics, Signs, & Systems
- Irvine Ranch Conservancy
- K Design
- Kalamazoo Materials, Inc.
- Kay-Linn Enterprises
- National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council
- Northwest Woodland Services, Inc.
- Okanogan Trail Construction, Inc.
- Pennsylvania Equine Council
- Pima Trails Association
- Pioneer Bridges
- Plastic Recycling of Iowa Falls
- Professional Trailbuilders Association
- Quad Cities CVB
- Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
- Redding CVB
- Rhino Marking & Protection Systems
- RideNow Powersports
- Rockart Signs & Markers
- Santa Fe Trail Association
- Southwest Conservation Corps
- St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
- Terrabilt Wayfinding Systems
- Tour-Mate Systems
- Town of Pinetop-Lakeside / TRACKS (AZ White Mountains Trail System)
- Tread Lightly!
- Voss Signs
- Yavapai Trails Association / Prescott Mile High Trail System
Poster proposal deadline for program extended to November 1
The deadline to submit a poster proposal as part of the program for the Symposium has been extended to November 1. Posters will be displayed in a common area throughout the Symposium. Individuals displaying posters will also have an opportunity to share their "story" and to meet with interested attendees at designated times during the Symposium. For additional information about the poster program and to submit a proposal, please contact the Poster Chair: Kelly Pack, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, email@example.com.
American Trails establishes the "Hulet Hornbeck" Youth Scholarship Fund
Hulet Hornbeck organized the 1st National Trails Symposium in 1971 and was a founding board member of the National Trails Council, the predecessor organization to American Trails. He then actively and enthusiastically served on the National Trails Council for 17 years and on the Board of Directors for American Trails for over 16 years. Hulet inspired the American Trails Board throughout the years with his zest for life, integrity, wisdom, passion for trails, and unwavering vision for preservation. Hulet enjoyed a distinguished career as Chief of Land Acquisition for the East Bay Regional Park District from 1965 through 1985, and was well-known for his many years of volunteer efforts on behalf of trails. Learn more about Hulet by visiting his "In Memoriam" page on the American Trails website.
The "Hulet Hornbeck" Youth Scholarship Fund will provide unique training and mentoring opportunities at the American Trails International Trails Symposium to inspire young adults to choose a career path so they, too, can leave a lasting legacy on the world - as Hulet did...
Contribute to the scholarship fund...
Young trail crew members find a new perspective
The LA Times reports on youthful workers building trails in the Santa Monica Mountains: "Like the uniformed Civilian Conservation Corps workers of the Great Depression, Irvin Centeno and his trail mates labor outdoors from dawn to dusk, breaking to eat and rest in temporary overnight camps." The big job is improving "about 20 miles of the 65-mile Backbone Trail, helping to make the long-neglected path between Pacific Palisades and Point Mugu navigable for hikers, horseback riders, and cyclists." Read more...
New loop trail runs 11 miles through scenic town and countryside
The Des Moines Register reports on the new Trout Run Trail in Decorah, Iowa. Andrea Chase, trails coordinator for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation said, "We should not forget that this is not just a paved path around town. This is a sculpture park, a fitness facility, a transportation corridor, an outdoor classroom, and an economic resource." The 11 mile trail includes views along the Upper Iowa River, limestone bluffs, a fish hatchery and eagle habitat, and a series of switchbacks in the hilly countryside south of Decorah. Read more and see photos...
Fire protection cited as benefit of new trail in Arizona high country
Access for firefighters and habitat improvement were arguments for new trail construction, writes The Payson Roundup: "The Pine-Strawberry Fuels Reduction (PSFR) Committee fought to get approval for the trail, working three years with the Forest Service on an assessment." Work on the Pine Trail began October 6 when the International Mountain Bicycling Association hosted a trail-building school. "The idea for the path came about several years ago when PSFR members were reseeding a fuel break with native grasses." Read more and see photos...
"Botanical Blossomings on the Bikeways" take root in NY towns
The Saratogian reports on Fredd Senser-Lee of South Glens Falls, NY, who has been "planting beautiful annuals and perennials at key points along the Warren County Bikeway, from Lake George to Glens Falls, and plans to extend the project to Saratoga County en route to New York City, which he hopes will spur similar state and nationwide efforts. "It's a community unity opportunity," Senser-Lee said. "At some sites it's a neighborhood thing. People who may have never talked to each other before are getting involved." Read more and see photos...
Movement seeks to unite one million bicyclists
PeopleForBikes.org, a movement founded by the bike nonprofit Bikes Belong, is now more than halfway to its goal of uniting one million bicyclists. Launched in the spring of 2010, PeopleForBikes.org (PFB) aims to use the million voices it collects to create a better future for bicycling. So far, PFB supporters have sent more than 120,000 letters to members of Congress requesting better support for bicycling. The movement is designed to represent anyone who is for bikes, whether they are a passionate bike advocate or someone who rides just once in awhile.
In addition to generating letters to members of Congress, PFB collects stories from supporters about why they ride. The Story Gallery on the PFB website contains thousands of submissions from riders across the country. If you haven't yet signed the PeopleForBikes.org pledge, you can do so online...
| ON THE TRAIL|
"Over the Hill Gang" volunteers for Prescott's trail system
Prescott, Arizona has the perfect ingredients for constructing trails using mostly free labor. This "volunteer" labor comes in all shapes and sizes ranging from schools, church groups, and nonprofits to "'non-voluntary" community service and restitution programs. There are also more specialized trail building groups such as the local mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian clubs. One local group that has worked at constructing trails around Prescott over the past 15 years, is an ever-changing group made up mostly of retirees called the "Over the Hill Gang." Read more and see photos...
NC State Trails Program conducts Paddle Tourism Study
North Carolina surveyed water trail users as part of an ongoing effort to enhance and encourage paddling experiences in the state. The study finds that paddling is popular in rivers, streams, and lakes across the state, and that North Carolina is a destination for paddlers from surrounding states. The majority of participants in this survey (70%) believe that paddling is a viable form of economic development for North Carolina. The study estimated that in 2008, paddlers spent $270,075 on local water trail trips and $947,800 on non-local trips. Read more about survey results...
Back Country Horsemen announces equestrian awards for 2012
As the United States' leading organization defending our right to ride horses on public lands, Back Country Horsemen of America are people who pursue excellence in all they do, from clearing trails and repairing bridges to promoting horse-friendly legislation. Appropriately, they go out of their way to recognize those who go above and beyond with the Double Diamond Award. John Burns of Salmon River Chapter of BCH Idaho was among those recognized for special projects and programs that best exemplify collaborative spirit and community awareness. Read more and see photos...
US Army Corps of Engineers features National Recreation Trails
Which agency is America's largest federal provider of outdoor and water-based recreation? It's the US Army Corps of Engineers with 422 lake and river projects in 43 states providing more than 4,500 miles of diverse trails and trail systems. Fifteen of these trails have been designated National Recreation Trails in the last three years. Corps of Engineers officials credit the support of local communities and organizations and thousands of volunteers in helping make these trails available for public use. Read more and see photos...
Trails crossing roads: American Trails "Cool Trail Solutions" photo gallery
Potential hazards exist every time a trail crosses a street or roadway. Trail and bikeway crossings may use the same warnings and crosswalks as standard pedestrian crossings. Others use creative signs to warn trail users to stop and be alert to motorized traffic. Standard red stop signs are generally used on trails where they cross roadways. Painted crosswalks are another typical feature. See photos and descriptions...
Best Practices: Accessible Public Rights-of-Way Planning and Design
As roadway design principles have been expanded to include pedestrian travel in residential neighborhoods and commercial centers in suburban and urban development, a key issue is accessibility. The U.S. Access Board has been reviewing proposed "Accessibility Guidelines for Pedestrian Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way" for several years. In the meantime, guidance and design solutions can be found in: Accessible Public Rights-of-Way Planning and Design...
| TRAINING & EDUCATION|
American Trails website offers gateway for both trail professionals and users
One of the recent improvements we have made to our expansive website (www.AmericanTrails.org) is to create a clearer and user friendly gateway to our two main streams of visitors -- Trail Professionals and Trail Users.
- The Trail Professionals gateway page gives quick access to our web areas on skills, training, resources, and advocacy.
- The Trail Users gateway is for those looking for places to hike or ride, or to connect with trail organizations and learn about projects in their state. From this portal, you can check out the National Recreation Trails Database or our State-by-State pages and learn about trails and trail groups in your area.
As always, we're interested in your feedback! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW REPORT: The Outdoor Foundation's 2012 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report
Participation in outdoor recreation reached a five-year high in 2011 with nearly 50 percent of all Americans ages six and older enjoying the outdoors. That equates to 141.1 million American outdoor participants. The findings are part of The Outdoor Foundation's 2012 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, the leading report tracking American participation trends in outdoor recreation with a focus on youth, diversity, and the future of the outdoors.
The Outdoor Foundation's sixth annual Outdoor Recreation Participation Report helps the outdoor industry, public agencies, and community organizations better understand the trends in outdoor recreation participation, enabling groups to address America's inactivity crisis and the disconnect between children and the outdoors. The report is based on an online survey of more than 40,000 Americans ages six and older and covers 114 different outdoor activities, making it the largest survey of its kind. Download the full report now...
ELCR invites you to attend the "Under Pressure: Strategies to Protect Your Equine Places and Spaces" Forum
On November 10, the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) is hosting "Under Pressure: Strategies to Protect Your Equine Places and Spaces," a one-day forum to be held at the Breyer Animal Creations Headquarters in Pequannock, New Jersey. Open Land is disappearing at a rate of 6,000 acres a day... Will your horse land and facilities be next? The program will feature national experts in the areas of planning, farmland protection, trail systems, and the use and value of horse lands in improving our environment. This informative program will provide both the basics and beyond, teaching participants how to advocate for horses in their own local communities. Learn more...
Purchase archived webinars in the American Trails Online Store
American Trails is continuing to be on the cutting-edge when it comes to bringing you the latest in state-of-the-art information on all aspects of trails and greenways. We are now pleased to offer webinars available for purchase through our online store. We understand that through these tough economic times, we cannot always travel in or out of state to attend important and informative meetings in the trails industry. You can purchase an archived webinar session if you missed it on the date and time it was held. View and purchase archived and upcoming webinars now...
- The Third Mode: Connective Greenways, Trails and Active Mobility
- Making the Case for Trails in Tight Economic Times
- Other Power Driven Mobility Devices
- Telling a Better Story: Best Practices for Interpretive Panels for Trails
- Water Trail Accessibility: Assessing and Creating More Accessible Facilities and Programs
- The Art of Sustainable Trail Management
More American Trails webinars planned in coming months
The American Trails "Advancing Trails" webinar series will bring top-quality training to your desktop. We're working on more programs to cover important topics for trails and greenways. CEUs will be offered on future webinars starting in 2013. Stay tuned for more details!
Here are some we're working on now:
- Creative Funding
- World-Class Bridges
- Urban Trails in Difficult Places
- Urban Paddle Way Planning and Design
- The Nitty Gritty of Tunnels, Culverts, and Crossings
- How to Plan and Build Top-Notch Equestrian Facilities
Read more on the American Trails "Advancing Trails" webinar series...
Training opportunities for 2013: see our online calendar
Check the Online Trails 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...
Here are some scheduled trail-related training opportunities coming up in early 2013:
February 7-9 - Kansas City, MO
* 12th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
February 10-15 - Albuquerque, NM
* Professional Trailbuilders Association's (PTBA) 2013 Sustainable Trails Conference
March 10-14 - Portland, OR
* Partnership Convention & Trade Show: Crossing Bridges Blazing Trails
April 14-17 - Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Resort, near Fountain Hills, AZ
* American Trails International Trails Symposium
May 8-10 - Lake Tahoe, CA
* California Trails and Greenways Conference
May 19-23 - Traverse City, MI
* National Outdoor Recreation Conference
Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at email@example.com.
| JOIN THE AMERICAN TRAILS NETWORK|
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- One of the largest online resources in the world for trail advocates is www.AmericanTrails.org.
- 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!
- Learn about and find National Recreation Trails (NRT) near you today!
- I'm a Pathways for Play advocate. Ask me why.
- The Online Trails Training Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training.
- Find Products and Services for Trails.
- Purchase books, maps, memberships, and webinars through the American Trails Online Store.
- What's your opinion? Send us your editorial or opinion piece.
- Need Trails Training? Visit www.TrailsTraining.net.
- Cool Trail Solutions: view galleries of trail projects, enhancements, and facilities to give you ideas and see how others solved typical trails and greenways problems.
- If you appreciate the thousands of resources we provide to help you do your work better, please help support American Trails ~ make a donation today.
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Send news and calendar items to firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Trails is a tax-exempt, nonprofit charitable organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible.
Header photo: Horses are part of the mix on the Clear Creek shared-use path, a National Recreation Trail in Wheat Ridge, CO; photo by Stuart Macdonald