American Hiking Society Accepting Applications for the 2007 National Trails Fund

American Hiking Society, the national leader in promoting and protecting foot trails and the hiking experience, is delighted to announce it is currently accepting applications for 2007 National Trails Fund grants.
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Washington, DC (September 1, 2006) – American Hiking Society, the national leader in promoting and protecting foot trails and the hiking experience, is delighted to announce it is currently accepting applications for 2007 National Trails Fund grants. Created in 1998 to address declining federal and state financial support for hiking trails, the National Trails Fund, the only privately funded grants program providing the important economic assistance to grassroots organizations, gives the resources necessary to build or repair new or existing trails, protect trail corridors, and support trail outreach and volunteer programs.

To date, American Hiking Society has awarded more than $290,000 in grants to 73 different trail projects across the country. Grants range from $500 to $10,000 per project and are awarded to dedicated nonprofit organizations that are helping to build and maintain hiking trails, preserve lands, and promote trail volunteerism throughout America.

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 users are applicable.

· Secure trail lands, including acquisition of trail and trail corridors and conservation easement.

· 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.

Applications must be postmarked by November 1, 2006

“It is very exciting being the recipient of the National Trails Fund. This grant allows recipients to make wonderful natural areas accessible and extends recreational enjoyment of nature far beyond the borders of some of our sometimes hidden jewels--the nature preserves in and near our communities. The National Trails Fund did just that for Idlewild Park, a beautiful wetland preserve in Southeast Queens which has remained impassable until this past year," says Barbara Brown, chairperson for the Eastern Queens Alliance, the organization that received the greatest amount of funding in 2006.

The National Trails Fund is supported thanks in part to generous donations from Therm-a-Rest, MSR and L.L.Bean, the program's Charter Sponsors. 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 the future for trails and open space. For more information on the National Trails Fund and to download the 2007 National Trails Fund guidelines and application, visit www.AmericanHiking.org or contact Ivan Levin, Trail Programs Manager, at ILevin@AmericanHiking.org or 301-565-6704 x 208.

Interested parties wishing to make a donation to the National Trails Fund may do so by contacting the Society's President, Dr. Gregory Miller, at 800-972-8608, extension 210.

[Editor's Note: Details on past winning projects are available on American Hiking's website.]

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About American Hiking Society

Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national conservation-based recreation organization dedicated to establishing, protecting and maintaining the nation's footpaths and promoting the hiking experience. With a strong membership base of individual hikers and hiking clubs, American Hiking represents more than half a million outdoors people and serves as the voice of the American hiker.

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