Help demonstrate the power and resilience of the trails community

American Trails and our partners need your input to demonstrate the immense impact that trails and trail projects can have on workforce development and the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. As Congress, states, philanthropists, and others invest in economic stimulus and infrastructure projects, it is important that trails are included. This is why we need you.

American Trails, in collaboration with our partners in the trails community, is working to quantify the amount, diversity, and location of “shovel-ready” trail projects across the country. We need this information to quantify the capacity of the trails community to build, maintain, and develop trails now, and to provide input to the Departments of Agriculture and Interior process for prioritizing and awarding Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) and Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) funding.

Please submit your shovel-ready trail projects that, if funding were available and working conditions are safe, could be begun by this spring/summer and completed by the end of the 2025 Federal FY. This information will also help us to effectively advocate for inclusion of trails in the Federal economic response to COVID-19. The information you provide will help to mobilize trail projects, put trail workers on the ground, and sustain rural and urban economies through transportation and recreation infrastructure investments.

Who should complete the survey?

Managers, either professional or volunteer, of “shovel-ready” trail projects. “Shovel-ready” trail projects are projects that, if funding is available and working conditions are safe, could be providing jobs by the summer of 2021. A project can be “shovel-ready” in any phase of development (e.g., planning, design, construction, maintenance), as long as jobs would be created by summer 2021 if the project were funded now. Prior to completing the survey, it may be helpful to take a moment now and gather the information you will need to respond to the following questions about your “shovel-ready” trail projects. This information includes:

  • Project names and locations
  • Approximate total project budgets and timelines
  • Approximate numbers of project jobs or workers
  • Project characteristics and features (e.g., land type, mileage, types of project work, user types, accessibility, etc.)
  • If helpful, download this PDF of the survey questions so you can gather all information prior to filling out the online survey.

Working with American Trails, you may choose to keep detailed project information like budgets confidential, in which case your responses will only be made public in aggregated form (e.g., state, congressional district, agency level reporting). You may also choose to make your project details public, in which case, your project(s) will be reviewed by a group of trail community representatives from a diverse spectrum of trail user types and a prioritized list will be provided directly to Agency leadership for purposes of recommending GAOA and LWCF funding in the next fiscal year.

If you are a trail project manager of one or more “shovel-ready” projects, we strongly encourage you to provide information on your project(s). Without it, we will not be able to demonstrate the full power of trails to put people back to work and help America recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any questions about the survey or American Trails’ efforts to advocate on behalf of the trails community, please email Mike Passo (Executive Director).

 

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE

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