Award-Winning Trail and Greenway Projects
The members of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) have selected the winners of the "Annual Achievement Awards" in recognition of outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. The award winners were recognized at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 8, 2010 at the U.S. House of Representatives Rayburn House Office Building, during the annual celebration for Great Outdoors Week.
Learn more about the Recreational Trails Program
Use of Youth Conservation/Service Corps
Park managers with young trail workers
In 2003, the Town of Hyde Park received a Recreational Trails Program grant for improvements to the Hyde Park Heritage Greenway Trail System. The Hyde Park Trail System includes 14 miles of trails within units of the National Park System, a State Park, several Town parks, a nonprofit nature preserve, and private lands, as well as trails that link between them.
The RTP grant was instrumental in helping to make the Hyde Park Trail System “ready for prime time.” Physical improvements and new parking for key trails made them accessible and appealing to the public. Trailhead kiosks help build a strong identity for the trails and cultivate public awareness of the storied landscapes that weave throughout the entire town, including National Park sites outside the boundaries of the town.
A new trail map/brochure, combined with a consistent system of trail directional signs and color-coded trail markers, provided high-quality visitor orientation and wayfinding regardless of land ownership.
Youth Conservation/Service Corps involvement made project completion possible:
on the Hyde Park Heritage Greenway
• A Student Conservation Association (SCA) intern during 2008 focused entirely on Hyde Park Trails. She helped enhance community engagement by enlisting and training volunteer trail maintainers, running trail maintenance days, creating the first trails newsletter, and working with the National Park Service Park Educator to create “Spring Break” trail activities for local school children and their families.
• Additional SCA interns have helped with trail marking, GPS mapping, and invasive species removal.
• Vocational students with the Dutchess County Board of Cooperative Educational Services built the five trailhead kiosks, and continue to make the majority of the routed trail directional signs.
• Fourteen Eagle Scout candidates have completed trail projects, restored trail segments, and built boardwalks, bridges, benches, switchbacks, and stairs that all enhance the trails.
The trails have steadily grown in popularity and are used by increasing numbers of groups and individuals. Trail counts by the National Park Service recorded over 44,000 trail visits during 2009.
Kathleen Davis, Town of Hyde Park, 4383 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538. Phone: 845-229-6851.
Vocational students with the Dutchess County Board of Cooperative Educational Services with signs
The Coalition for Recreational Trails, a national organization representing the nation's major trail interests, has been working since 1992 to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program, to support its implementation and to help insure that it receives adequate funding. The Annual Achievement Awards are part of the Coalition's ongoing effort to promote and celebrate this highly successful program, which has greatly enhanced the quantity and quality of trail experiences available to the public. For more information about CRT and its members, go to: www.funoutdoors.com/coalitions/crt.