August 31, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact Vanessa Vaughan, (301) 565-6704, ext. 204
August 13, 2007
American Hiking Society Accepting Applications for Trail Grants
National Trails Fund Supports Volunteer Projects Across the Country
Silver Spring, MD – American Hiking Society, the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience, announced today that it is currently accepting applications for 2008 National Trails Fund grants.
The National Trails Fund is the only national, privately funded grants program for hiking trails. Grants typically range from $500 to $5,000 per project and are awarded to dedicated local organizations such as volunteer-led trail clubs and land trusts that need the resources to build or repair new or existing trails, protect trail corridors, and support trail outreach and volunteer programs. Since creating the National Trails Fund in 1998, American Hiking Society has awarded nearly $340,000 in grants to 89 different trail projects across the country.
National Trails Fund awards are made possible by generous support from the program’s charter sponsors, L.L.Bean, MSR, and Therm-a-Rest, companies with a rich history of supporting volunteerism and environmental causes. Their support, along with private gifts from individuals and businesses, allows American Hiking Society to award at least $40,000 each year, providing a significant base to secure a future for trails and open space.
American Hiking Society will consider projects that meet one or more of the following criteria:
· Have hikers as the primary constituency; however, all human-powered trail uses are applicable.
· Build or maintain trails that result in improved access, improved safety and environmental sustainability.
· Include constituency building surrounding specific trail projects, emphasizing volunteer recruitment and support.
· Secure trail lands, including acquisition of trail and trail corridors and conservation easements.
Applications must be postmarked by November 1, 2007
"The National Smokejumper Association has provided the USDA Forest Service with large trail crews of volunteers made up of former Smokejumpers for the past 10 years,” said Jon McBride, trail maintenance coordinator for the National Smokejumper Association, a recipient of a 2007 National Trails Fund grant. “The grant we received from American Hiking Society allowed us to provide new and state-of-the-art equipment to our crews for the first time and, in turn, helped to reduce risks of injury and improve efficiency."
“Support from American Hiking Society helped the Arizona Wilderness Coalition (AWC) engage our members in trail maintenance, restoration and construction in the Granite Mountain Wilderness,” said Kevin Gaither-Banchoff, executive director for AWC, also a recipient of a 2007 National Trails Fund grant. “This type of stewardship work not only helps improve future visitors’ experiences at Granite Mountain Wilderness and other wild places in Arizona, but helps AWC build better collaborative relationships with managing agencies and personnel.”
For more information on the National Trails Fund and to download the 2008 National Trails Fund guidelines and application, visit AmericanHiking.org, or contact Ivan Levin, Trail Programs Manager, at 301-565-6704 x 208.
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 itself. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its programs, including the National Trails Fund, please visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call (301) 565-6704.
MSR & Therm-a-Rest
For more than thirty-five years, Seattle-based Cascade Designs®, makers of Therm-a-Rest® and MSR® products, has led the outdoor industry in the design and manufacture of innovative, reliable and useful gear including the first self-inflating camping mattress and the first multi-fuel stove. www.cascadedesigns.com.
Founded in 1912, L.L.Bean is a leading retailer of quality apparel, sporting gear and home furnishings for outdoor enthusiasts. The company partners with conservation and recreation organizations that promote conservation and stewardship of our natural resources. www.llbean.com
Posted by Jeffrey Hunter at 04:49 PM