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WHAT'S HOT

 

American Trails Webinar Series continues with new programs 

 

Many Symposium workshop presentations are now online 

 

How trails benefit the environment: the American Trails Blog 

 

    

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NEWS

 

 Foxx became the new Secretary of Transportation on July 2, 2013 

 

Business owners are seeing the benefits of bike infrastructure 

 

Sponsorship signs to appear along St. Marks Trail 

 

Trail towns: communities adopting the North Country Trail 

 

South Carolina's cross-state trail gets help from Boeing 

 

St. Louis plans 1.5-mile elevated trail through downtown 

 

 

   

FEATURES 

 

  Bob Searns reflects on the past and future of trails 

 

Tourism groups develop trails to Turkish history and culture 

 

Featured National Recreation Trail: Lower Cache River Trail, Illinois 

 

Global trail warming: the worldwide trail revolution heats up 

 

Best Practices: Planning and Building an Urban Greenway 

 

 

 

TRAINING & EDUCATION 

 

 Archived Webinar: Building Your Trail Right the First Time 

 

BLM offers free trail etiquette and safety posters 

 

Winning Federal dollars for bicycle and pedestrian projects 

 

Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan 

 

Accessible Picnic Tables: Requirements and Recommendations 

 

Iowa interactive map helps bicyclists find the right route 

 

Training opportunities for trail skills 

 

 

 

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July 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!

 

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  whatshotWHAT'S HOT 

a1

American Trails Webinar Series continues with new programs

 

American Trails is working to create a dynamic online Webinar TRAPS logo series to help trail planners, supporters, and managers learn about focused topics of special interest. Our webinars are now eligible for CEUs through the Texas Recreation and Park Society, an authorized independent CEU provider through International Association for Continuing Education and Training. Our 75 minute webinars are worth .10 CEUs.

 

Check out upcoming webinars for 2013:

 

  • SEPTEMBER:
    Introduction to Trail Maintenance Management Planning (presented by Kim Frederick, Chinook Associates LLC)
  • OCTOBER:
    Trail Tread - Maintenance & Construction of Erosion Control Structures & Surface Water Management (presented by Kim Frederick, Chinook Associates LLC)
  • NOVEMBER:
    Equestrian Design & Construction (presented by Jan Hancock, Hancock Resources LLC)

 

Read more and see current Webinar schedule...

 

a2

Many Symposium workshop presentations are now online

 

Now online are dozens of presentations from the American Trails International Trails Symposium. These are online slide shows from the presentations provided by speakers. Topics cover the full range of trails of all types, with an emphasis on new technology, planning techniques, enhancing tourism, and managing trails. See presentations in Concurrent Sessions and Core Tracks descriptions...

 

a3

How trails benefit the environment: the American Trails Blog

 

In many places trails are a key ingredient in preserving open space and encouraging public interest in habitat and natural landscapes. In southern California, trails are especially important in preserving public access to stream corridors and the coast. We wanted to share a concise and well-written explanation of how trails promote natural resource management strategies that ensure environmental preservation, quality of life, and economic development. Read more on the American Trails Blog...

 

 newsNEWS

a4

Foxx became the new Secretary of Transportation on July 2, 2013

 

Anthony Foxx joined the U.S. Department of Transportation after serving as the Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, from 2009 to 2013. During that time, he made efficient and innovative transportation investments the centerpiece of Charlotte's job creation and economic recovery efforts. These investments included extending the LYNX light rail system, the largest capital project ever undertaken by the city, which will build new roads, bridges, transit as well as bicycle and pedestrian facilities; ...and starting the Charlotte Streetcar project. As Mayor, he promoted a vision and advocated for policies to make the city more pedestrian and bike friendly to help attract new businesses, residents, and visitors. Foxx was confirmed by the full U.S. Senate in a unanimous vote of 100-0 on June 27. Learn more...

 

a5

Business owners are seeing the benefits of bike infrastructure

 

"In a growing number of communities, retailers are going beyond individual efforts and banding together to find ways to appeal to cyclists," writes Carolyn Szczepanski in Momentum Mag. Many examples from around the country illustrate how leaders in the public and private sector are realizing that being bike-friendly makes good business sense, boosting the bottom line, and promoting community-wide economic development. Read more and see photos...

 

a6 

Sponsorship signs to appear along St. Marks Trail

 

According to WCTV, a local TV station in Tallahassee, FL: Florida Park Service announced this week that it is trying to find sponsors for seven trails across the state in hopes that private companies will help to foot the bill for the upkeep. The state spends just over 100-thousand dollars a year to maintain the St. Marks Trail. "It basically announces their name as a sponsor of that trail. It's not a billboard. There are specific requirements for size and what the sign says and we have to approve the signs," said Doug Alderson with Florida's Office of Greenways and Trails. Read more... 

 

a7

Trail towns: communities adopting the North Country Trail

 

The Grand Rapids Press reported on "Trail Towns" along the long-distance North Country Trail: "Non-motorized trails provide a huge economic stimulus to the state and local communities. People travel to use them and spend money to do so. They buy guide books and gear, new hiking boots and apparel, food, gas, lodging, and a multitude of things while traveling. North Country Trail Association staffers now say they, too, are learning the value of their trail and have switched gears in recent years to make more connections with communities along the seven-state route." Read more and see photos...

 

a8 

 South Carolina's cross-state trail gets help from Boeing

 

The Charleston City Paper reports on South Carolina's Palmetto Trail, which is supported by the Palmetto Conservation Foundation. After almost two decades, the existing pathway is 100 miles shy of completion. The lack of state funding forced PCF to seek corporate support, with much of the trail having been built with help from companies like BMW, REI, and Duke Energy. The PCF is still in need of a master plan to start filling in the trail's gaps. Now, thanks to funding from the Boeing Corporation, PCF will be able to develop that plan for the Palmetto Trail. Read more and see photos... 

 

a9

St. Louis plans 1.5-mile elevated trail through downtown

 

The St. Louis Beacon reports on "The Trestle," a project to transform an abandoned rail line built to access bridges over the Mississippi, into a 1.5-mile elevated park in the heart of Old North St. Louis. According to the Great Rivers Greenway group, "The abandoned rail trestle will be transformed into an elevated park, putting St. Louis on a short list with New York City and Paris, France, as one of the only cities in the world with such an attraction." Read more and see photos...

 

featuresFEATURES
a10

Bob Searns reflects on the past and future of trails

 

Former Chair of American Trails, Bob Searns, discusses important areas where American Trails and the trails community should be focusing going forward. He highlights expanding advocacy at the state, local, and grass roots level. "This includes understanding new trends, exploring new trail activities, enhancing the databases, and other efforts. As part of this strategy American Trails will be building its ties to the international trails community as well as expanding local engagement." Read more... 

 

a11

Tourism groups develop trails to Turkish history and culture

 

The whole country of Turkey is dense with both history and natural beauty, and much of it remains undiscovered or under-appreciated. The task of bringing these treasures back to the world's consciousness is often left to enthusiasts, writers, or individual tour operators who have found a love of this region and its people. In response, there is a growing movement of trail enthusiasts and tourism professionals who are discovering the need to take matters into their own hands. Read more and see photos...

 

a12

Featured National Recreation Trail: Lower Cache River Trail, Illinois

 

This three-mile paddling and hiking trail, a designated National Recreation Trail, is the result of a partnership between Illinois DNR, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Nature Conservancy to preserve, restore, and manage a 60,000-acre complex of wetlands. The Lower Cache is best known for its remnant examples of high quality wetlands which once were prominent in the Cache River Valley of Pulaski County, IL. Paddlers and hikers will find much to see in the way of wildlife, birds, and a true southern cypress/tupelo swamp. Read more and see photos...

 

a13

Global trail warming: the worldwide trail revolution heats up

 

Tony Boone writes, "After traveling and digging in a handful of countries over the past several years, I have been amazed at the increasing international awareness and the intensifying desire for recreational trails. Those that know the joys and benefits of hiking, running, or riding a simple path through nature can celebrate. Finally the economic, physical, environmental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of trails are becoming obvious on a global basis. Read more and see photos...

 

a14

Best Practices: Planning and Building an Urban Greenway

 

The story of the South Platte River Greenway in the Denver metro area covers the challenges of design in a constricted river corridor to creating a nonprofit foundation to manage the trail. Four Colorado experts discuss:

  • Participation by multiple municipalities, agencies, and flood control district
  • Combining stream stabilization improvements with trail construction
  • Strategies for negotiations for property acquisition and trail rights-of-way
  • Site challenges and the construction solutions and techniques
  • River Corridor park and trail master planning, public involvement 

View the 156-slide presentation from the American Trails International Trails Symposium...

 

 trainingTRAINING & EDUCATION
a15

Archived Webinar: Building Your Trail Right the First Time

 

Professional trail consultant, and newly elected Chair of the American Trails Board, John Favro teaches how to place a trail on the landscape so that it is consistent with the natural environment so that it will be aesthetically pleasing, meet user needs, and require minimal maintenance in the future. Learn more about the influences of water on trail alignments, the use of control points in trail layout, and how to determine sustainable grade. Access the archived webinar in the American Trails Store...

 

a16

BLM offers free trail etiquette and safety posters

 

The Bureau of Land Management has trail etiquette and safety posters available for free download. They were designed for the Campbell Tract, a forested recreation site in the heart of Anchorage, AK managed by the BLM. With its 12 miles of trails, including the popular Campbell Tract Loop Trail, the tract offers four-season outdoor recreation opportunities. The area's diverse plants, wildlife, and habitats also serve as a wonderful outdoor classroom for the Anchorage community. Read more and see posters...

 

a17

Winning Federal dollars for bicycle and pedestrian projects

 

Advocacy Advance, a partnership of League of American Bicyclists and Alliance for Biking & Walking, has compiled a lot of information for Federal funds for bicycling and walking projects and programs. Statewide advocacy organizations are looking to take on challenges that will have an on-going impact on the way transportation funds are distributed in their regions and states. More and more, they are turning their attention to policies and processes that determine the flow of federal funds to bicycling and walking projects and programs. To that end, leaders have started to seek models that address these campaigns from a statewide perspective. Learn more and access resources... 

 

a18

Texas Children in Nature Strategic Plan

 

According to this new report, trails are a key way for kids to be more active outdoors. For youth, like all Americans, close-to-home opportunities for outdoor recreation are essential. Key goals are to "Optimize access to natural areas to make them safe and convenient" and to "Create hiking, biking, walking, and paddling trails with points of access for multiple and diverse users in natural areas, including those with disabilities." Creation of new natural areas and providing more interpretation programs are also discussed. Read more and download the complete report...

 

a19

Accessible Picnic Tables: Requirements and Recommendations

 

The National Center on Accessibility set out guidelines for providing accessible picnic tables as part of outdoor recreation facilities. It includes topics for scoping and technical provisions for accessible picnic tables, including the number and dispersion of Accessible Tables, Wheelchair Seating Spaces, Clear Ground Space (Firmness, Stability, and Slope), and Connection to Outdoor Recreation Access Route. Read more and see photos...

 

a20

Iowa interactive map helps bicyclists find the right route

 

The Iowa DOT announced it has created a mobile version of its Iowa Transportation Map for Bicyclists. The online version features an interactive Google map, complete with up-to-date information to plan bicycle trips and find all available routes. The map also features rest stops, restaurants, bike shops, and water fountains along the way. Users just have to enter their starting address and destination address, and the site will come up with the best route for that trip. Access the online Iowa bike map...

 

a21

Training opportunities for trail skills

 

Here are some of the trail-related training opportunities coming up in late summer 2013. See the Online Trails Training Calendar for details...

 

August 12-16 - Gainesville, FL

* Basic Wildland Firefighter Training

 

August 13-15 - Sacramento, CA

* Safe Routes to School National Conference

 

September 9-12 - Boulder, CO

* Economic, Health, and Social Benefits of Walking and Bicycling

 

September 11-13 - Munich, Germany

* International Conference on Walking and Livable Communities

 

September 13 - Wenatchee, WA

* Washington State Trails Caucus

 

September 24-25 - Dubuque, IA

* Growing Sustainable Communities Conference

 

September 26 - Charleston, WV

* Navigating MAP-21 Workshop

 

September 28 - Sanford, FL

* Florida National Scenic Trail (FNST) Symposium

 

October 1-3 - Washington, DC

* 2013 Walking Summit

 

October 2 - Jackson, MS

* Mississippi Bike Summit

 

October 4 - Providence, RI

* New England Bike-Walk Summit

 

October 8-10 - Houston, TX

* National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition

 

October 17 - Omaha, NE

* Navigating MAP-21 Workshop

 

October 27-30 - Matteson, IL

* Mid America Trails & Greenways Conference

 

 

Contact us with your scheduled training opportunities at nttp@americantrails.org.

 

 joinJOIN THE AMERICAN TRAILS NETWORK
a22

Working together - works! There is strength in numbers!

 

For over 25 years, American Trails has been a collective voice for a diverse coalition of enthusiasts, professionals, advocates, land managers, conservationists, and friends of the outdoors and livable cities. American Trails strives to enrich the quality of life for all people and the sustainable development of communities by advancing and promoting the development, preservation, and enjoyment of diverse, high quality trails and greenways. We envision a network of trails within 15 minutes of every home, school, and workplace.  

 

American Trails will continue to keep you informed on both trail know-how and issues critical to the future of trails. 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, including our children.

 

 

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Header photo: Trail along the Manyunk Canal near Philadelphia; photo by Stuart Macdonald, www.manayunkcanal.org