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
Outstanding State Recreational Trails Advisory Committee
In Tennessee, the Council on Greenways and Trails is the RTP state advisory committee. With representatives from all trail user groups, the 15-member Council consists of both non-government organizations and local government members.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Recreation Educational Services Division is the administering agency for RTP grants, which are distributed biannually. The Council works in partnership with the Division, evaluating the grant-application process at the end of each cycle and making recommendations for changes and improvements.
Visually Impaired Hike on the Cumberland Trail (photo by Jeffrey Hunter)
One Council recommendation accepted by the Division for the last two grant cycles was to provide nonprofit organizations with the opportunity to apply for RTP funds for projects on public lands as long as a written agreement was in place between the nonprofit and the public agency.
This initiative has helped fund projects on federal lands and provide for other unique public/private partnerships. The Council has initiated three statewide Greenways and Trails conferences and was also very involved in the development of the state’s Greenways and Trails Plan. Since the inception of the Plan in 2008, Tennessee now has greenways or trails in 85 of its 95 counties.
The foremost initiative the Council has undertaken is the marketing and branding of the Tennessee Greenways and Trails Program. A logo was developed. A website – www.connectwithtn.com -- was constructed. A website- marketing piece for billboards was designed. And three catchy 30-second PSA’s were developed for both TV and radio. A marketing leave-behind piece was also created and will be used to solicit corporate funding to fund the continued marketing campaign.
The RTP education funds allocated for this project were matched with over $250,000 of donated services, specifically donated billboard space. The Tennessee Department of Health was so impressed with the Council’s marketing program that they approved using a $25,000 obesity grant from the Centers for Disease Control to purchase air time for the radio PSA’s to help increase physical activity outdoors.
For more information:
Tennessee's Recreational Trails Program: http://www.tennessee.gov/environment/recreation/greentrails.shtml
Public information website for TN trails and greenways: http://www.connectwithtn.com/
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.
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). See the FHWA website for more information. Federal transportation funds benefit recreation by making funds available to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund, and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from nonhighway recreational fuel use: fuel used for off-highway recreation by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, and off-highway light trucks.
See State by State list of all RTP Awards with links to individual award web pages