CONNECTING COMMUNITIES TO THEIR URBAN PARK
Location: Brownsville, TX
Parks & Partners involved: Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park; Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA)
The construction of this 9-mile rail trail enhances bicycle and pedestrian connections between the urban national historical park and historically significant sites located throughout the community. These sites include places such as the Heritage and Cultural District, Historic Brownsville Museum, and the Fine Arts Museum. The rail trail serves as the spine for the city's growing trail system, and increases public lands access to the underserved communities in the city.
CAPITAL TRAILS COALITION PARTNERSHIP BRINGS MULTI-USE TRAILS TO D.C.
Location: Washington, DC
Parks & Partners involved: National Capital Region Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA); Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA)
Story Snapshot: Comprising more than 40 public and private organizations and agencies, as well as citizen volunteers—and supported by REI, who has committed $500,000 to support the development of this project—the coalition is working to complete a world-class multi-use trail network in the D.C. metro region with a collective vision: to transform public life by providing healthy, low-stress access to open space and reliable transportation for people of all ages and abilities. The Coalition has been meeting regularly since the 2015 Trails Symposium last November and has made tremendous progress, including establishing a steering committee and three working groups, and developing governance structures and a graphic identity.
DC CIRCULATOR NATIONAL MALL ROUTE CONNECTS RIDERS TO PARKS
Location: Washington, DC
Parks & Partners involved: DC DOT, National Mall and Memorial Parks
Story Snapshot: A partnership with the City’s Department of Transportation and NPS enhances affordable alternative transportation options and connects park resources to the city’s fabric by expanding the existing five route Circulator bus system to include a new National Mall route. The National Mall route includes 15 stops that provide access to National Mall and Memorial Park. The route offers frequent (every 10 minutes), low cost service ($1) that is fully integrated into the larger local and regional transit network. In peak months ridership exceeds 60,000 riders per month, connecting diverse visitors and residents to cultural and historical resources on the National Mall.
BUILDING AN URBAN TRAIL CORRIDOR
Location: Lowell, MA
Parks & Partners involved:
Lowell National Historical Park, State of Massachusetts, Gateway Cities Program, Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust, City of Lowell, Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA)
Story Snapshot: This multi-decade project is creating a multi-use recreational trail on the Concord River connecting 25-mile and 200-mile circuit trails to an urban trail corridor. The project has been ongoing for 30 years and the majority of sections have been completed (actual trail building started in 2000). In addition to the trail construction, the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program installed Arts in the Park art work along trail aligned with the theme of native birds and native texts. The trail also features multilingual cultural education materials in Cambodian, Portuguese, Spanish, and English.
DISCOVER NIAGARA LINKS CULTURAL & NATURAL HERITAGE SITES
Location: Niagara Falls, NY
Parks & Partners involved:
Niagara Falls NHA, New York State Parks, Destination Niagara USA, New York Power Authority, City of Niagara Falls
Story Snapshot: The Discover Niagara Shuttle is an ongoing initiative of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, its stakeholders, partners, supporters and friends to provide a free hop-on hop-off shuttle service that connects the falls with other cultural and natural resources in the Heritage Area. Most tourists stop at Niagara Falls, but the Heritage Area features another 15 sites along a 14-mile "Falls to the Fort" trail. The shuttle is linked to both a vehicle tracking and scheduling mobile app, as well as the "Discover Niagara" app, which provides a guide to the history of the falls, places to visit, and a touring map.
TROLLEY LINKS CITY TO NEARBY NATIONAL PARKS
Location: Homestead, FL
Parks & Partners involved: Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, National Parks Conservation Association, City of Homestead
Story Snapshot: The City of Homestead created this pioneer program in 2013 to offer free public transportation to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks by expanding its already successful local trolley service. In addition, both Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park have partnered to offer free Park admission to those on the National Parks Trolley. This ground-breaking project was the first of its kind nationally to offer public transportation to two National Parks, and continues to operate every weekend to connect Homestead residents to the national park on either side of the community.
EVERY KID IN A PARK
Location: Hopkins, SC
Parks & Partners involved: Congaree National Park, National Council of Negro Women, National Park Foundation
Story Snapshot: Fourth-grade students from Clarendon, Williamsburg and Sumter counties visited Congaree National Park in Hopkins, thanks to a transportation grant provided through the work of park staff and the National Council of Negro Women. Throughout March and April 2017, 972 students visited the park as part of the grant partnership and the nationwide Every Kid in a Park effort. While there, the students participated in the Junior Ranger program and were presented badges during a swearing-in ceremony at the Harry Hampton Visitor’s Center.