American Hiking Society Announces 2011 National Trails Fund Recipients - Outdoor Industry Association

American Hiking Society Announces 2011 National Trails Fund Recipients

For Immediate Release

CONTACTS:
Heather Sable
American Hiking Society
(301) 565-6704  x208
hsable@americanhiking.org

Silver Spring, MD — Jul 18, 2011

American Hiking Society enjoyed another great year of awarding funds to selected trail projects across the country through its 2011 National Trails Fund. Thanks to the generous support of their Charter Sponsors, L.L. Bean and Cascade Designs (Therm-a-Rest and MSR), the National Trails Fund (NTF) awarded $27,000. This was a landmark year because NTF eclipsed the half million dollar mark with total awards of $514,500 since its inception in 1998.

“Our goal of providing access to trails for all Americans is more urgent and timely than ever,” stated Gregory Miller, American Hiking Society’s President.  “Reaching the half million dollar milestone of awarded trail grants would not have been possible without the unwavering support from L.L. Bean and Cascade Designs.”

American Hiking Society received 114 applications from 38 states seeking funding from the NTF in 2011, of these, eight outstanding projects were chosen.

“It’s a tough job to have to choose grant winners from so many worthy applicant organizations, and the committee takes it very seriously,” said Tami Fairweather, Public Relations and Partnerships Manager for Therm-a-Rest and MSR (Mountain Safety Research). “We are always humbled and inspired by the hard work and dedication given by so many individuals to repair, establish and promote hiking trails in their communities.”
The following organizations have been awarded grants ranging between $500 and $5,000 to support their trail project:

•    Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, CO
•    Friends of Deer Creek, CA
•    Great Eastern Trail Association, VA
•    Horse-Shoe Trail Conservancy, PA
•    Mohican Trails Club, OH
•    North Fork Watershed Project, WV
•    San Bernardino National Forest Association, CA
•    Victor Hiking Trails, NY

The funds allow recipients to create, expand and renovate hiking trails throughout their areas.  This year three recipients submitted plans to construct foot bridges along their trails.  Foot bridges are important to protect environmentally sensitive areas and natural habitats and they also allow hikers to access unique areas. Other projects include installation of directional signage and plaques, which, enables hikers to feel safe, as well as preserving sensitive natural spaces by keeping hikers on the trail.   

American Hiking Society awarded a youth specific grant to the San Bernardino National Forest Association.  With these funds, the National Children’s Forest will manage a youth volunteer trail crew to maintain a 5.25 mile trail.  

“L.L. Bean encourages people to be good stewards of the environment. We applaud the American Hiking Society’s efforts to establish, protect, and maintain America’s foot trails.  We are proud to sponsor the National Trails Fund, which supports a variety of projects at the local level with much needed resources,” stated Janet Wyper, L.L. Bean’s Manager of Community Relations.
Applications will be accepted beginning in early November 2011 for the 2012 NTF grants so organizations can continue their great work of protecting our nation’s trails.

About American Hiking Society
Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. Since its inception in 1998, the National Trails Fund has granted over a half a million dollars to trail projects across the United States. Community preservation efforts include land acquisition, constituency building campaigns and a variety of trail work projects. With more than 200,000 miles of trails in the United States, the National Trails Fund is the only national private grants program that helps trail-maintaining organizations build and improve hiking trails and galvanize volunteers to ensure long-term trail sustainability.

To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call (301) 565-6704.