SILVER SPRING, MD - American Hiking Society has recently announced the recipients of National Trails Fund grants in 2012. Thanks to the generous support of our Charter Sponsors, L.L.Bean and Cascade Designs (Therm-a-Rest and MSR), the National Trails Fund (NTF) awarded a total of $26,000 in grants this year. A cumulative total of $540,500 has been awarded to trail clubs over the life of the program, since its inception in 1998.
American Hiking Society received 104 applications from organizations in 36 states, seeking funding from the NTF in 2012. Of these, eleven outstanding projects were chosen.
“It’s a tough job to have to choose grant winners from so many worthy applicant organizations, and the committee takes it very seriously,” said Kerri Dellisanti, Public Relations Manager for Cascade Designs. “We are always humbled and inspired by the hard work and dedication given by so many individuals to repair, establish and promote hiking trails in their communities.”
The following organizations have been awarded grants ranging between $500 and $5,000 to support trail projects:
• Appalachian Mountain Club, NH
• Butler Outdoor Club, PA
• Colorado Mountain Club, CO
• Florida Trail Association, FL
• Friends of Lake Barkley, KY
• Newton Marasco Foundation, VA
• Pine Mountain Trail Conference, KY
• Starflower Experiences, NY
• Trails4All, CA
• Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park, NY
• Wilderness International, ID
The funds will allow recipients to create, expand and renovate hiking trails throughout the country. This year, several grant winners will be using their funds to implement better erosion controls on their favorite trails. Depending on the project, this will involve the installation of water bars and fortified embankments. Proper drainage systems ensure the long-term sustainability of trails, circumventing damage done by severe weather.
Winners are also using their funds to improve hiking experiences by removing graffiti and installing new, updated signage. Butler Outdoor Club and Colorado Mountain Club will be improving signage at each of their respective trails. Directional signage enables hikers to feel safe, as well as preserving sensitive natural spaces by keeping hikers on the trail. A few of the winners are also improving accessibility by constructing new trails, connecting existing trails and providing new walkways.
“L.L.Bean recognizes the important role that outdoor recreationalists have in being good stewards of the resource. We applaud American Hiking Society's efforts to establish, protect, and maintain America's foot trails. We are proud to sponsor the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Fund to support the critical role the volunteer stewards play at the local level,” stated Janet Wyper, L.L.Bean’s Manager of Community Relations.
Even as great work is accomplished for America’s trails this year by these grant recipients, there will always be more work to be done to protect our trails. Applications will be accepted beginning in early November 2012 for the 2013 NTF grants.
About 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. Since its inception in 1998, the National Trails Fund has granted over a half a million dollars to trail projects across the United States. Community preservation efforts include land acquisition, constituency building campaigns and a variety of trail work projects. With more than 200,000 miles of trails in the United States, the National Trails Fund is the only national private grants program that helps trail-maintaining organizations build and improve hiking trails and galvanize volunteers to ensure long-term trail sustainability. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call (301) 565-6704.
About Cascade Designs
For forty years, Seattle-based Cascade Designs, Inc. has led the outdoor industry in designing innovative, useful and long-lasting equipment, manufacturing the majority of products in their Seattle, U.S.A. and Cork, Ireland facilities. From the original self-inflating Therm-a-Rest® camping mattress to the first multi-fuel stove, Cascade Designs has developed products that explorers, travelers, adventurers, outdoor enthusiasts and weekend campers can rely on to deliver optimum performance in the outdoors through exceptional engineering and quality. For more information on Cascade Designs or links to our premium brands: Therm-a-Rest®; MSR®; Platypus®; SealLine®; Hummingbird™; PackTowl®; and Tracks®, please visit www.cascadedesigns.com or call us at 1-800-531-9531.
About MSR (Mountain Safety Research)
Seattle-based MSR has been engineering standard-setting high-performance outdoor equipment since 1969. A commitment to quality manufacturing and innovation ensures customers are outfitted with the finest, most reliable gear available for outdoor adventures. MSR® product lines include; stoves, fuel, cookware, water treatment and hydration systems, shelters, snowshoes and trekking poles. The majority of MSR products are made in the company’s Seattle, U.S.A. and Cork, Ireland manufacturing facilities. For more information, visit www.msrgear.com.
Seattle-based Therm-a-Rest has been the market leader in premium outdoor comfort since its invention of the world’s first self-inflating mattress in 1972. A commitment to providing inventive, long-lasting and reliable products has driven the expansion of the line into closed-cell foam mattresses, air mattresses, cots, sleeping bags, blankets, and seating solutions that reinvent the way people sleep outside. All Therm-a-Rest® mattresses are made in the Seattle, U.S.A. and Cork, Ireland manufacturing facilities. For more information, visit www.thermarest.com.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. While its business has grown over the past 100 years, L.L.Bean still upholds the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. To celebrate the company's centennial, L.L.Bean is reigniting America’s passion for the outdoors, with donations of nearly $3 million to organizations that engage young people and their families in outdoor recreation. Over the past 10 years, L.L.Bean has given nearly $26 million to local, state, regional and national conservation, human service, education and arts organizations. L.L.Bean products are rigorously tested, guaranteed to last and always shipped free The 200,000 sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at www.llbean.com, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.