American Hiking Society Awards $50,000 in Trail Grants - SNEWS

American Hiking Society Awards $50,000 in Trail Grants

Thanks to American Hiking Society’s National Trails Fund grants program, 17 nonprofit organizations across the country will receive a much needed boost to their efforts to establish, promote, and protect foot trails and hiking opportunities. The national nonprofit will distribute $50,000 in grants ranging from $500 to $7,300, that are generally matched by cash or ‘sweat equity’, for projects ranging from volunteer support to trail maintenance and construction.
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Silver Spring, MD – Thanks to American Hiking Society's National Trails Fund grants program, 17 nonprofit organizations across the country will receive a much needed boost to their efforts to establish, promote, and protect foot trails and hiking opportunities. The national nonprofit will distribute $50,000 in grants ranging from $500 to $7,300, that are generally matched by cash or ‘sweat equity', for projects ranging from volunteer support to trail maintenance and construction. The 2006 National Trails Fund awards are made possible by generous ugh the park as well as install interpretive signs for self-guided nature walks. The Idlewild Park Wetland Trail System, part of a 224-acre wetland preserve, will provide visitors with the opportunity to experience the park's unique wetland and upland environments in southeastern Queens, New York City.

Friends of Little Pend Oreille. The Friends of the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge, located in northeast Washington, is dedicated to promoting conservation of native fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats on the Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge, a 40,198-acre refuge with no established trails. The project, supported by a $3,300 grant, involves constructing the first trail in a series to be named the McDowell Marsh Environmental Education Trail. The grant will be used to purchase the materials for the wheelchair accessible trail surface.

Other recipients of the 2006 National Trails Fund are: Camp Tyler Foundation (TX), Carteret County Wildlife Club (NC), Coastwalk (CA), Colorado Mountain Club (CO), Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust (MD), Elkhorn City Area Heritage Council (KY), Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association (GA), Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (UT), High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew (CA), North Coast F.O.R.E.S.T. Association (CA), Pacific Northwest Trail Association (WA), Superior Hiking Trail Association (MN), The Norman Bird Sanctuary (RI), Wallingford Land Trust (CT), and Weber Pathways (UT).

“These projects represent the vision and muscle of the hiking trails community, said Miller. “American Hiking salutes the volunteer-based organizations that provide us with opportunities to get outside, get active, renew our spirit, and increase environmental awareness through trails.”

Since creating the National Trails Fund in 1997, American Hiking Society has awarded more than $290,000 in grants to 73 projects in 41 states. The program was re-launched in 2005 with generous gifts from L.L.Bean and Therm-a-Rest and MSR, companies with a rich history of supporting volunteerism and environmental causes. Additional donations to the National Trails Fund have come from the private business sector and individual donors.

For more information on this year's grant recipients, the National Trails Fund, or American Hiking Society's trail conservation programs, visit www.AmericanHiking.org.

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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.

Therm-a-Rest / MSR
For over thirty 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 gear and equipment, including the first self inflating camping mattress, the first multi-fuel stove and a revolutionary pen-sized water purifier. Today, Cascade Designs' products are in use around the globe providing outdoor adventurers and explorers with gear they can rely on, even in the most challenging environments. For more information on Cascade Designs or links to our premium brands: MSR®; Therm-a-Rest®; SealLine®; Platypus®; Tracks® and VARILITE®, please visit www.cascadedesigns.com or call us at 1-800-531-9531.

L.L.Bean
L.L.Bean, Inc., is a leading multi-channel retailer of quality apparel, sporting gear and home furnishings for people who love the outdoors. The company partners with conservation and recreation organizations that promote conservation and stewardship of our natural resources. L.L.Bean was founded in 1912 and is headquartered in Freeport, Maine. For more information on L.L.Bean call 800-441-5713 or visit www.LLBean.com.

Ivan Levin
Trail Programs Manager
American Hiking Society
1422 Fenwick Lane
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-565-6704 x 208
www.Americanhiking.org

“Experience Your Outdoors” on National Trails Day, June 3, 2006

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