Rails To Trails Conservancy
Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity
shop   |   eNews   |   find a trail
Share this page:

RTC TrailBlog

  • Trail Voices: Edgar Chase

    Edgar Chase is always moving. "I used to be a runner," says the New Orleans native and former Marine Corps captain. Now 62, he and his wife Alva are looking to keep active as they get older. "I can't run like I used to," he says, so instead he and Alva "walk every day, and we don't miss a day. And when my knee acts up too much, I ride the bike." But for Chase, walking and biking are about more than staying healthy. It's a way to get around town.

    After raising children in suburban New Orleans East, the Chases were drawn closer to the city's heart by family connections and a desire to have daily necessities within easy reach. Chase's parents live in the city's Tremé neighborhood, and his family's business, Dooky Chase restaurant, is in Lafitte. The couple settled in nearby Mid-City. "We have small retail shopping districts--neighborhood grocery stores, neighborhood pharmacy stores, neighborhood churches," Chase says. There's no need "to use an interstate highway to go to shop. We could walk, we could bicycle."

    Chase began bicycling in 2005, before Hurricane Katrina hit the city. After the storm, he began riding more--to community meetings, to festivals. Spurred on by his wife, Chase became involved with Friends of Lafitte Corridor, a group advocating for a rail-trail through Chase's neighborhood that would connect the French Quarter to City Park. He eventually joined the group's board of directors. "The whole point of the greenway," he explains, "is to encourage people...to use bicycling and walking to go to shops, to go to restaurants, to do everyday living." Chase sees the greenway not only as a way to revitalize local businesses, but to bring more families to the area, who, like him, "would like to have safe spots for our grandkids to bicycle, for us to walk every day."

    Chase has passed bicycling on to his twin sons, as well. Now 35, they both commute to work by bike. "They have cars," Chase says, "but they like to bike because they don't have time to get in the exercise they normally would." It's an excellent way to make time to stay fit," he says, especially if, like his sons, "you're a busy person and you're raising young kids."

    But Chase says his sons will bike the city's streets even when he won't. "They're a little braver than I am. Sometimes they work late into the evening, but they'll ride their bikes." That's where Chase draws the line. "I don't ride my bike at dark, because I'm afraid of getting hit by a truck. There's a little bit of danger so you have to be careful." 

    "I like to ride in a safe area," he says. "It's hard to find streets with bike paths." Chase enjoys riding on Gentilly Boulevard because of its bike lane. "We don't have that on Broad Street, we don't have that on Carrollton Avenue, we don't have that on Tulane Avenue, we don't have that on Nashville Avenue. We have to cross bridges," which, Chase notes, can be difficult to traverse on a bike. "There's no bike path over the Broad Street overpass. Then I turn on Nashville; there's no bike path there. There's no bike path on Tchoupitoulas. We need it on all those streets," he says. And once you arrive at your destination, Chase says, "There aren't enough bike racks for you to safely park your bike. I think that's something we can improve on."

    As the city rebuilds its streets, he says, "We're building back better." Some now include dedicated bike lanes. Despite the city's progress, there is still a long road to achieving the vision Edgar Chase shares with many of his fellow New Orleanians. "We could get back and forth to those essential neighborhood services by bicycling or walking if we had some secure bicycling or walking paths. It's a beautiful city here in New Orleans, and the people are very friendly. We just need to develop the infrastructure."

    Photo courtesy Edgar Chase

  • Watch: Detroit's Public-Private Partnerships for Trails

    As part of the Detroit 2020 Project, WXYZ-TV took a look at the RiverWalk and the Dequindre Cut Greenway, two connecting trails created through public-private partnerships between the city of Detroit and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. As Blogroll member M-Bike.org points out, the Conservancy has taken the lead in the partnership, with staff dedicated to trail planning and maintenance.

    On a related note, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is also looking for volunteers to serve as RiverWalk ambassadors. Detroit trail supporters are highly encouraged to get involved!

  • Share Your Project with the CDC: Anti-Obesity Active Transportation Initiatives Wanted

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking for projects that promote active transportation infrastructure for leisure or commuting purposes. Submitted initiatives should target low-income and minority populations with higher rates of obesity.

    Selected programs will be invited to participate in an assessment to determine readiness for evaluation, which will include a spring 2011 site visit to assess implementation, data availability, intended outcomes and staff capacity. CDC project staff will also offer ideas for improvement and evaluation design. Projects will also be featured on the CDC website and may be considered for a comprehensive evaluation.

    Programs must have been under way for six months or more at time of submission, be federally funded and not have already undergone rigorous evaluation. View the submission form to nominate your project. The deadline is January 28, 2011. Contact Kari Cruz at kcruz@icfi.com or 404.321.3211 with any questions.

  • New NYC Park Design Guidelines Emphasize Connecting Parks with Trails

    New design guidelines from New York City's Department of Parks & Recreation and the Design Trust for Public Space, brought to our attention by Streetsblog, give greenways and trails an important role in connecting Gotham's park system. The guidelines say that park facilities should "connect parks to greenways and bike routes to expand those routes, and provide easy access to parks, as well as opportunities for recreation by bicycle commuters." The benefits of using greenways to connect parks are wide ranging, as the guidelines note: "Park connectivity efforts can be planned in tandem with, and reinforce, efforts to increase tree canopy coverage, develop green infrastructure, revitalize streetscapes and commercial corridors, and bolster active modes of transportation." 

    The guidelines also provide details for park planners that may bring cheers from regular users of crowded greenways. Specifically, the guidelines advise designers to "separate bicycles from pedestrians whenever possible," but "when bicycles are mixed with pedestrians," it says, they should "increase sightlines at potential points of conflict such as intersections and entrances." Busy urban pathways demonstrate the demand for trails and greenways but can lead to sometimes-dangerous user conflicts. It's good to see New York taking these potential conflicts into account within the city's guidance for park and trail planners.

    In some ways, the guidelines are playing catch-up to inspired efforts already under way in New York and across the nation. The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative utilizes cycle tracks and multi-use paths to connect parks along the borough's waterfront, including the acclaimed Brooklyn Bridge Park. The South Bronx Greenway connects Hunts Point Riverside Park with Barretto Point Park and numerous piers. Also in the Bronx, the Bronx River Greenway connects parks along the Bronx River watershed. In Memphis, the Shelby Farms Greenline is using a rail-trail and complete streets to connect two of that city's landmark green spaces.

    These new guidelines from New York are good news for trails and greenways in urban areas, as official policy and guidelines recognize the important connection between physical activity, transportation and the built environment.

  • Trees for Trails! RTC Partnership Greens D.C. Rail-Trail

    On Saturday, December 11, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) teamed up with Casey Trees to plant 29 trees on the Metropolitan Branch Trail in Washington, D.C. More than 50 volunteers braved chilly winter weather for the community tree-planting event, adorning the trail with a variety of species including Cherokee sweetgum, Kentucky yellowwood, Eastern Redbud, paperbark maple, crape myrtle, golden raintree and saucer magnolia. As the trees grow, they will provide a much-needed shade canopy along the trail, improve air quality, reduce storm water runoff and provide habitat for wildlife.

    The planting was part of RTC's Metropolitan Grants Program, funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation. Casey Trees, a D.C.-based organization that works to restore, enhance and protecting the tree canopy of the nation's capital, will continue to water and care for the trees with their innovative Water By-Cycle and High School Summer Crew programs. Casey Trees' new headquarters is located a few blocks from the Met Branch Trail route, making them a natural partner and trail steward. RTC is grateful to Casey Trees staff and Citizen Foresters and looks forward to planting fruit trees on the trail in Spring 2011.

    Interested in planting more trees along your trail? Check with your state's Urban Forestry Coordinator to learn more about available public resources and local nonprofits that can assist. Your local forester can also provide guidance on planting the right tree in the right place.

  • Cal Park Tunnel Opens to Great Fanfare in Marin County

    Last Friday, hundreds of cyclists and walkers celebrated the long-awaited opening of the Cal Park Tunnel in Marin County, Calif., with some even setting off fireworks to commemorate the occasion. All the work by the County of Marin, Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) and others now pays off with a quick, smooth ride through the hill that separates San Rafael from the ferry terminal in Larkspur and southern Marin County. The shared-use path will share the tunnel with SMART commuter trains when they start running, though the path is walled off from the train in the tunnel and has its own ventilation system. The tunnel features lighting, video monitoring, cell phone reception, a fire suppression system and graffiti-resistant walls.

    Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has advocated for opening both the Cal Park and Alto tunnels in Marin, and work on the Cal Park Tunnel led to the publication of  our Tunnels on Trails study in 2001.

    At the opening, speakers touted the shared-use path as the most important aspect of the SMART project, and supervisor Steve Kinsey quipped, "We don't have a high-speed rail, but we do have a high-speed trail... and a low-speed walking trail." You can take a virtual ride through the new tunnel and see it for yourself!

    The Cal Park Tunnel joins the recent opening of the Lincoln Hill Path north of San Rafael to complete two new links in the North South Greenway, a non-motorized transportation corridor through Marin County. The Lincoln Hill Path is sandwiched between the SMART train line and Highway 101and allows for an unbroken coast down the hill in an interesting urban canyon of hill cuts and sound walls. If you missed the Cal Park ribbon cutting, the Lincoln Hill Path ribbon cutting will be coming up in January 2011.

  • Montour Trail Council Partners with Natural Gas Company to Construct Rail-with-Trail

    The Montour Trail Council has successfully negotiated for a three-mile rail-with-trail near Pittsburgh to be built by MarkWest Energy Partners of Denver, Colo. MarkWest is transporting natural gas by rail and needs an additional three-mile section to connect the processing facility with an active mainline.

    A common concern expressed to RTC's Northeast Regional Office about the increase in gas drilling is the additional heavy truck traffic, making the roads less safe for bicyclists. Montour Trail Council’s negotiation with MarkWest may be unique, but it provides further proof that rails-with-trails are an ideal partnership that present an opportunity for communities faced with increased traffic and unsafe conditions.

    The Montour Trail Council also just announced a successful negotiation with another energy company, Range Resources, for a gas lease on more than 180 acres of land owned by the trail council. The council will create an endowment fund with the initial $511,000 payment on the lease. You can learn more about this arrangement in the latest edition of the Montour Trail-Letter.

    The Montour Trail Council stated they are aware of the many environmental and community concerns associated with drilling for natural gas, but they feel they have been diligent in protecting the interest of the trail.

  • An Intern(al) Review

    by Marshall Pearson

    When I was much younger, I would ride my bicycle everywhere. Nearly every day, I'd zip around Huntington Woods, Mich., on a little black BMX model, going to the community center, a friend's house, the pool, the library, or often just for a joyride. Back then, I felt like there was no place my bike couldn't take me.

    As I got older and moved away, I relied on a bicycle less and less. Riding in the street felt more dangerous. Going to the mall seemed impossible. I couldn't impress any girls with a bike, so it stayed in my garage.

    In college, however, my life changed yet again, and I found enough space for a bicycle. Going places on two wheels became both practical and enjoyable. I attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, for four years, and the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway (a rail-with-trail) allowed me to pedal to the farmers' market for groceries. I would use the path for late-night excursions with friends to the abandoned boxcars dormant along one section of the path, or cycle the 33-mile roundtrip to Nelsonville on a lazy Saturday. Frankly, I owe my relative sanity to that bicycle, both for the functional and exhilarating role it played in my life.

    Later, as I observed the larger context surrounding the bikeway and bicycle culture in Athens, I realized I wasn't the only person relying on it. Local residents living outside the city still had access to the trail, and many would use it to get to their jobs at local businesses or the university. Athens is squarely in the middle of Appalachia, and many of its citizens face poverty every day. Some residents cannot afford vehicles, but the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway helps them access jobs, food and other necessary services.

    Once I saw the broad effect a simple path could have on my community, I began to see my hobby in a different light. Not only was bicycle commuting possible in larger cities, but it was possible anywhere. I soon became interested in changing how cycling is viewed, and how it can be used in an entirely new model of sustainable transportation. That led me to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), where I have worked as a communications intern since early September.

    Working at RTC has taught me a great deal about how policy influences bicycling, but it has also shown me that the bicycle is only one part of the non-motorized future of transportation. I have learned that the thinking, as well as the infrastructure, of transportation must be re-evaluated and reformed in order to make walking and bicycling regular--and safe--options to get around.

    For even the shortest of trips, many Americans do not have an accessible route to walk, ride a bike or take public transportation. Massive amounts of federal, state and local funds are allocated to maintaining highways every year, but a vastly disproportionate amount is being set aside for alternative transportation.

    I believe we need a sea change in our perception of transportation. That is why RTC is important to me--it's an organization that understands the consequences of embracing what author Daniel Sperling refers to as a "car-centric monoculture." The people here work tirelessly to promote alternatives to automobiles and congested roadways. Whether they are negotiating trail-friendly policies with politicians or in the courts, or working with local entities to bring rail-trails to fruition, the employees of RTC are endeavoring to change the public view of the trails, walking and bicycling movement.

    I don't have that black BMX model anymore, but I have thankfully rediscovered the joy I first felt when riding it. For me, biking will always be far more than just a hobby. The more I learn about cycling's vibrant culture, the more I realize its potential. A bicycle can't take you everywhere, but I hope our country learns to give cycling, as well as other non-motorized options, a chance to grow.

    Photo of Marshall Pearson courtesy of Marshall Pearson; photo of Hockhocking Adena Bikeway through Ohio University's campus by Will Elder. 

  • Join Florida's Pinellas Trail this Saturday for its 20th Anniversary Celebration

    Come celebrate the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail's 20th anniversary this Saturday, December 4! Everyone is invited to come get on the trail and enjoy walking, jogging, skating and bicycling from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg. There will be a ceremony at John Taylor Park in Largo beginning at 10 a.m. and concluding with a ribbon cutting at the end of the ceremony.

    Also on Saturday, family, friends and co-workers are invited to join Bob Evans for a Community Fun Day at any of the five Bob Evans Restaurants in Pinellas County. With mention that you are celebrating "Pinellas Trail Day," 15 percent of the total bill will be contributed to Pinellas Trail, Inc.

    The following Bob Evans restaurants are participating to raise money for this great cause:

    • South St. Petersburg, 4900 34th Street South, St. Petersburg - 727.866.1166
    • Pinellas Park, 7550 US Highway 19 North, Pinellas Park - 727.541.3336
    • Country Side, 29335 US Highway 19 North, Clearwater - 727.787.3359
    • Tyrone, 2410 66th Street North, St. Petersburg - 727.347.4545
    • Ulmerton Road, 3335 Ulmerton Rd. Clearwater - 727.573.2929

    Pinellas Trails, Inc. (PTI) is a 501(c)(3) organization that has successfully promoted the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail through a public/private partnership for more than two decades. PTI is hosting this celebration event and raises private funds for the amenities and additional landscaping along the trail. In addition, PTI supports the volunteer Auxiliary Ranger program for the trail. In 2000, Fred E. Marquis--the former county administrator and trail advocate who supported the trail's creation-- was honored with the "renaming of the trail." Mr. Marquis has volunteered as an Auxiliary Ranger. Interested in volunteering, too? You can - sign up anytime!

    Photo by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

  • Memphis Connects Parks with Rail-Trail and Complete Streets

    In many ways, the recently opened Shelby Farms Greenline is a linear extension of the city's largest park to downtown Memphis, Tenn. But the rail-trail stops just short of Overton Park, which contains, among other attractions, the Memphis Zoo and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. What's standing in the way? Broad Avenue, an east-west connection that has seen better days.

    To complete the missing link, Broad Avenue was transformed, at least temporarily, into a complete street featuring bike lanes, art-inspired crosswalks painted by local schoolchildren, and temporary businesses that set up shop for the weekend. It's part of an effort, called "A New Face for an Old Broad," to show the community what Broad Avenue could be while making the connection between the trailhead and Overton Park.

    "This is a critical link ... The Greenline is the catalyst to turn around attitudes toward the city of Memphis, Tennessee," says event sponsor Charles McVean. Kyle Wagenschutz, bike and pedestrian coordinator for the city of Memphis, agrees. "Much like the Greenline gave Memphians a tangible example of off-road spaces that are safe places for biking and walking," he says, "the redesign of Broad Avenue will be a physical representation of how city streets can be designed as safe places for bicycle riders and pedestrians." Plans are already taking shape in an effort to make permanent improvements to Broad Avenue.

    It's an inspiring story of extending a pathway beyond the trail corridor to foster business development, physical activity and community spirit at once. Be sure to watch the video report embedded above from WMC-TV.

  • Cycle Tracks and Trails: Making the Connection

    In the past few years, physically separated bike lanes, also known as cycle tracks, have emerged in American cities as popular facilities that encourage more residents to hop on their bikes. Many cycle tracks look like trails transplanted to city streets, all the way down to the dashed yellow stripe down the center. They've made for calmer, safer streets and attracted cyclists who want better infrastructure in order to feel safe.

    Because they are safe, inviting environments, urban rail-trails also attract a wide range of riders. The Washington, D.C., region has a strong and growing trail network that allows city residents and suburban commuters to circulate around the region.

    While there has been much focus on filling gaps in the region's trail network and implementing on-road treatments like cycle tracks, sharrows and bike lanes, less attention has been paid to integrating the on- and off-road facilities into a comprehensive active transportation system.

    Recently, the Dutch embassy hosted a ThinkBike workshop in Washington, one in a series of gatherings hosted by The Netherlands in American cities. D.C.-area blogger Richard Layman attended and was assigned to a group looking at current plans for downtown cycle tracks on L and M streets NW. The group saw the opportunity for an important connection in the regional bike network:

    We figured out that an M Street cycletrack across the northwest quadrant [in pink] could connect up 6 different multi-use trails [in red]. The current program for L and M Street, designed at 50%, didn't figure it out. But by ... being willing to extend the boundaries of our consideration beyond the formal scope of our project ... we could connect a number of off-road trails including the Metropolitan Branch Trail, the Rock Creek Trail, the Capital Crescent Trail, the C&O Canal Trail, and by providing connections to Key Bridge and Arlington County, the Mount Vernon Trail and the Custis Trail in Virginia ... [We recommended] branding these tracks or bikeways the "Crosstown Connector" or "Crosstown Bikeway."

    It's exactly these types of connections that gives residents a safe way to get around the region by bike. If a rail-trail isn't feasible or available, users should have access to the next-best thing: physically separated cycle tracks connecting to regional trails.

  • Check out AAA Mid-Atlantic’s backyard, TE-funded trail

    In August, AAA Mid-Atlantic called for the elimination of critical, established programs that fund trails, walking and bicycling from our nation's transportation trust fund. De-funded programs would include Transportation Enhancements (TE), the largest funding source for trails and active transportation infrastructure.

    AAA says it supports all types of transportation, but that doesn't square with the above position, which would divert crucial money away from walking and bicycling and toward the highway system.

    Imagine our surprise when we learned that AAA Mid-Atlantic has a trail right outside their building that their employees get to enjoy every day... funded by TE! So we decided to go see it for ourselves.

    Ask AAA to be a part of America's transportation future - sign the petition now!

  • Notice: Upcoming Railroad Abandonment in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana

    RECEIVE RAILROAD ABANDONMENT NOTICES FOR YOUR STATE VIA E-MAIL

    On or about November 9, 2010, Delta Southern Railroad, Inc. filed for the abandonment of 8 miles of track East Carroll Parish, Louisiana. The corridor starts just west of U.S. Highway 65 near Shelburn and ends about one mile south of Lake Providence. In the filing, the railroad indicates the corridor may be suitable for trail use. We are providing this information because it presents an opportunity to develop a real regional asset: a multi-use trail that can accommodate hikers, bikers, equestrians and other appropriate uses.

    NEXT STEPS: If this corridor is suitable for trail use, we strongly urge local trail advocates, or an appropriate local, regional or state agency or organization, to take action now. A "boiler plate" letter (found here) can be filed with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and the abandoning railroad using STB docket number AB- 384 (SUB-NO. 2X). Filing this letter does not commit its authors to acquire the corridor; it merely gives time to develop a rail-trail proposal and undertake negotiations with the railroad. According to the information we have received, the deadline for filing this letter is December 9, 2010. Even if this deadline is missed, there is probably still time to contact the relevant parties, since the railroad may have experienced a delay in filing all of the paperwork, or the STB may still have jurisdiction over the corridor. However, it is important to take prompt action. The STB posts all abandonment decisions and filings on its Web site, including the complete filing for this corridor. More information on the rail corridor, including a map, can be found in this filing.

    The STB has imposed a $200 filing fee for all railbanking requests. Entities filing a railbanking request may request a fee waiver or reduction, and government agencies will receive an automatic fee waiver. Throughout the process, make sure local government officials and citizen activists are kept informed of the project's progress. We also recommend contacting your state trails coordinator or your state bicycle/pedestrian coordinator.

    Both of these individuals are knowledgeable about state laws and resources and may be able to assist your community with this rail-trail project. Also, you may want to contact the abandoning railroad to add your name to their service list.

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE: RTC's Web site may provide valuable tools as you plan for a rail-trail, including how-to manuals, the Trail-Building Toolbox, our Publications Library and the Trails & Greenways Listserv for trail advocates and professionals. These resources can be found within the "Trail-Building" section of our Web site. If you take advantage of this information and other resources promptly, you will be well on your way to creating a successful rail-trail in your community. For more information, or if you decide to pursue railbanking, please contact the National Office of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

  • Notice: Upcoming Railroad Abandonment in Posey and Vanderburgh Counties, Indiana

    RECEIVE RAILROAD ABANDONMENT NOTICES FOR YOUR STATE VIA E-MAIL

    On or about October 25, 2010, Indiana Southwestern Railway Co. filed for the abandonment of two interconnecting segments of track for a total of 17.2 miles within Posey and Vanderburgh counties, Indiana. One segment begins in Cynthiana and the other starts near German Township; they converge in Poseyville. In the filing, the railroad indicates that the corridor may be suitable for trail use. We are providing this information because it presents an opportunity to develop a real regional asset: a multi-use trail that can accommodate hikers, bikers, equestrians and other appropriate uses.

    NEXT STEPS: If this corridor is suitable for trail use, we strongly urge local trail advocates, or an appropriate local, regional or state agency or organization, to take action now. A "boiler plate" letter (found here) can be filed with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and the abandoning railroad using STB docket number AB-1065 (sub-no. 0x). Filing this letter does not commit its authors to acquire the corridor; it merely gives time to develop a rail-trail proposal and undertake negotiations with the railroad. According to the information we have received, the deadline for filing this letter is January 15, 2011. Even if this deadline is missed, there is probably still time to contact the relevant parties, since the railroad may have experienced a delay in filing all of the paperwork, or the STB may still have jurisdiction over the corridor. However, it is important to take prompt action. The STB posts all abandonment decisions and filings on its Web site, including the complete filing for this corridor. More information on the rail corridor, including a map, can be found in this filing.

    The STB has imposed a $200 filing fee for all railbanking requests. Entities filing a railbanking request may request a fee waiver or reduction, and government agencies will receive an automatic fee waiver. Throughout the process, make sure local government officials and citizen activists are kept informed of the project's progress. We also recommend contacting your state trails coordinator or your state bicycle/pedestrian coordinator. Both of these individuals are knowledgeable about state laws and resources and may be able to assist your community with this rail-trail project. Also, you may want to contact the abandoning railroad to add your name to their service list.

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE: RTC's Web site may provide valuable tools as you plan for a rail-trail, including how-to manuals, the Trail-Building Toolbox, our Publications Library and the Trails & Greenways Listserv for trail advocates and professionals. These resources can be found within the "Trail-Building" section of our Web site. If you take advantage of this information and other resources promptly, you will be well on your way to creating a successful rail-trail in your community. For more information, or if you decide to pursue railbanking, please contact the Midwest Regional Office of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

  • RTC Salutes Partnership with PA DCNR

    Coming off the great success of our 8th annual Greenway Sojourn, we in Pennsylvania are reminded of the large support the Northeast Regional Office of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has received over the past 10 years from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR). Beginning with the very first Sojourn in 2001, RTC has received funding from the PA DCNR in support of this popular event. In total, nearly 2,500 people have participated in the eight multi-day rides, with representation from as many as 34 states in 2007. And the Sojourn has now taken place in every geographic region of Pennsylvania.

    Funding for DCNR's grants comes from their Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2), which is generated in large part from a portion of the state realty transfer tax. Started in 1993 under an act of legislation and passed with a large majority vote by both the Pennsylvania House and Senate, the program is DCNR's primary source of grant funding for both recreation and land conservation. In turn, this revenue source has provided invaluable funding for trail development throughout Pennsylvania. C2P2's support is so strong that the program has carried over, in the same form and name, through multiple governors.

    Another recurring program that Pennsylvania's DCNR supports is RTC's Trail Assistance Program. Driven by existing RTC initiatives such as the Greenway Sojourn, the Trail Assistance Program helps provide funding for materials, repairs and improvements that can frequently be completed by volunteers. To date, we have been able to assist the completion of 15 projects on 13 different trails.

    The funding assistance provided by the DCNR has allowed RTC to complete a number of research-backed publications, which provide the necessary analytic and statistical support for continued trail development. We share this work with trail development professionals around the country via our website as well as in hard copy form. Publications have included 10 editions of the Pennsylvania's Rail-Trails guidebook. This initial work eventually became the basis for both the DCNR Explore PA Trails website and RTC's own free trail-finding service, TrailLink.com.

    Other publications researched, written and produced by RTC with funding assistance from PA DCNR include a seminal work on Rail-Trail Bridges in Pennsylvania and Rail-Trail Maintenance & Operation. We have now completed Trail User Surveys and Economic Impact Analysis on four trails in Pennsylvania because of this funding.

    A coalition of agencies and individuals called Renew Growing Greener is heading an effort to maintain funding for these PA DCNR programs. Visit their site to learn about options to keep these important programs alive.

    Photo of 2010 Greenway Sojourners--more than 300--preparing to cross the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philadelphia by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.  

« First ... < Previous 38 39 40 41 42 Next > ... Last »
 

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
5th Floor
Washington, DC 20037
+1-202-331-9696