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Title: health and fitness
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Secretary Norton promotes Get Fit opportunities with designation of 27 new National Recreation Trails

The Get Fit with US initiative of the White House is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle alliance between public health and recreation.

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Riders on the Grand Illinois Trail and Parks ride in 2003

From the US Department of the Interior

ST. PAUL, Minn.
Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton used National Trails Day (June 5) to launch the "America's Public Lands Get Fit with US" initiative. Norton also announced the designation of 27 new National Recreation Trails for 2004 in 15 states, as part of the National Recreation Trails System.

"Our efforts to promote trails for health and recreation are part of a larger partnership initiated by President Bush," Norton said. "These partnerships are using the vast interconnected outdoor recreation network of federal, state and local lands and waters as a resource that can help provide inexpensive, enjoyable exercise for all Americans.

"The theme for this year's National Trails Day is 'Trails and Health: A Natural Connection'."

The Get Fit with US initiative is a direct result of President George W. Bush's Executive Order, which was issued for the purpose of improving the health of all Americans. It is designed to promote a healthy lifestyle alliance between public health and recreation.

The theme for this year's National Trails Day is "Trails and Health— A Natural Connection." Norton noted that the Interior Department manage public lands and water activities around the country that provide scenic vistas and breathtaking landscapes that attract nearly a half billion visitors per year.

"The Interior Department, which manages one-fifth of the land in the nation— one out of every five acres— plays an important role in the public land recreation network," Norton said. "By promoting the importance of recreational activities and physical fitness opportunities on our public lands and waters, we encourage Americans to stay active and healthy while enjoying the outdoors."

National recreation trails designation is an honor given to those existing trails that have been nominated and meet the requirements for connecting people to local resources and improving their quality of life. The national trail designation is part of a continuing campaign to promote community partnerships and to foster innovative ways to encourage physical fitness. The National Trails System Act of 1968, encourages the Secretary of the Interior to recognize existing community trails that qualify as additions to the National Trails System. The Act promotes enjoyment and appreciation of trails and greater public access.

Today's announcement of 27 national recreation trails in 15 states totals about 982 miles. Since becoming Interior Secretary in 2001, Norton designated 91 national recreation trails a total of 3,022 miles.

Along with inclusion in the National Recreation Trails System, each of the 27 trails announced today will receive a certificate of designation and National Recreation Trail markers. There are now more than 800 National Recreation Trails throughout the United States, totaling more than 9,000 miles.

The National Recreation Trails program provides technical assistance and support for outreach efforts. The National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service administer the program with help from a number of other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails Web site ( More on the list of 2004 National Recreation Trail designations with links to photos and descriptions...

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