American Hiking, with financial support from the U.S. Forest Service, is proud to announce the recipients of the first-of-its-kind National Trails Day® Community Grant. The grant is designed to reduce barriers for underrepresented communities to organize meaningful events in celebration of the 30th annual American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® on June 4, 2022.
Dozens of well-deserving individuals and organizations from across the country applied for funding for events organized by underrepresented communities, affinity groups, or clubs in the outdoors to support an in-person event for National Trails Day® at a National Forest or National Grassland site. Funding will be used towards transportation costs, hands-on materials, stewardship supplies, gear library products, food, event promotion, and any other materials needed for a full trail experience.
After a committee review process, the grant recipients include:
Ruth Rosas and Ismael Cuevas – Huron-Manistee National Forest: Black and Brown Chicagoans with limited exposure to biking and camping trips are invited to join a ride and camping trip in Huron-Manistee National Forest. The group will be departing from Chicago, IL the morning of Friday, June 3, to bike 60 miles to their campsite where they will camp for two nights. During the first night, the group will get to know one another, partake in stewardship conversations, cook, and eat together. On National Trails Day® the group will enjoy all that the trails in Huron-Manistee National Forest have to offer. Participants also have the option of enjoying group trail runs and paddle activities.
We’re Out Here – Cleveland National Forest: All queer BIPOC folks in Orange Country are invited to join a nature walk in Black Star Canyon in Cleveland National Forest. This will be a low-intensity, mostly flat walk with alternating areas of full sun and some areas where trees will provide shade. The event will be led by queer, Latinx naturalists Michelle and Tatiana. During the nature walk, participants will meet fellow queer BIPOC nature lovers, and along the way, observe and connect with native plants and birds, and even learn about how these mountains used to be under the ocean just a few million years ago. Event leaders will also be discussing the presence of the Indigenous peoples whose land they are guests on, and how they can respect and protect the land for generations to come. This trip is designed for all bodies and abilities ages 18+, no hiking experience required!
New Mexico Wildlife Federation (Nature Niños New Mexico) – Gila and Cibola National Forest: Two events in different communities will celebrate National Trails Day® by connecting local youth to trails and nature in creative ways. The first event is Aldo Leopold Kids’ Fishing Derby at Lake Roberts, which will include hiking, fishing, and archery—just to name a few of the activities. The second event (to be held at a later date due to a forest closure) will be a storytelling hike. During this hike, the storytellers will share multiple interactive stories with the participants and then offer a variety of hikes based on the family’s needs and abilities. In partnership with the Albuquerque Sign Language Academy this event will have ASL and Spanish interpretations.
Khmer Community of Seattle King County – Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest: Members of the Khmer community will come together for a multigenerational community picnic near Annette Lake followed by a student-led interpretive group hike. The event will help unite the community elders with the youth in a shared immersive outdoor experience rooted in tradition and connection to the natural world.
“National Trails Day® is the perfect opportunity to get outside with the people you love, give back to the trails that bring us together, and make sure no one is left out.,” explains Kate Van Waes, Executive Director of American Hiking Society. “These grant opportunities increase accessibility so more folks feel welcome to participate in National Trails Day® and so they feel welcome in the outdoor community as a whole.”
American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® is made possible by the generous support of Corporate Sponsors – AKGH™ by Duluth Trading Co., Athletic Brewing Co., REI Co-Op, and Osprey Packs. Federal Partners include the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.
Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering all to enjoy, share, and preserve the hiking experience.