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Rails To Trails Conservancy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Beautification, Land Resources Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Sports

Mission: The rails-to-trails conservancy (rtc), the nation's largest trails organization with more than 160,000 members and supporters, is dedicated to working with communities to preserve and transform unused rail corridors into multiuse trails and trail networks, creating healthier places for healthier people. Founded in 1985, rtc is located in washington, dc and has four regional offices in pennsylvania, ohio, california and florida. Funding for the rtc's activities come primarily through membership dues and contributions.

Programs: Trail development - since its inception, rtc has supported trail building through a variety of strategic initiatives: managing an early warning system that notifies communities, state and local agencies of upcoming railway abandonments; creating statewide trail inventories and development plans; providing technical assistance for local trail development and management projects; and offering training and education for communities and trail-building groups. Rtc's trailnation project portfolio represents the organization's largest trail development initiative. These projects are intended to spur trail-network development nationwide, changing the landscape for active transportation by establishing trail systems that get people where they want to go. The heart of this work comes through smart investments that close gaps in trail systems and improve access to major destinations across communities and entire regions. The scope of this work is a placemaking strategy, with trails as the catalyst. Currently, rtc operates a portfolio of eight projects of national significance, with a goal of 12 projects by the year 2020.

public information/events - while the benefits of trail use are far-reaching, not everyone knows how to access trails. Rtc's trail-use initiatives provide tips for getting out on the trail and connect people with local trails and bucket-list destinations. Rtc's flagship initiative, traillink. Com served more than 7 million visitors in fy 17 connecting them to over 30,000 miles of trails through its free website and mobile apps. Trail use campaigns include opening day for trails - building excitement for the start of the trail use season in the spring; share the trails - promoting safe and respectful trail use; and the sojourn series - educating about how trails are built through an experiential, multi-day trail ride. Rtc also provides rail-trail information throught its quarterly magazine, monthly enews, social media, news media and publications.

trail policy - rtc's policy and advocacy work ensures public investment in rail-trails at all levels of government, focusing on opportunities to support communities in building critical trail, biking and walking infrastructure. Rtc promotes policies at the federal and state level that make trail building possible. Rtc is a leader in the fight to protect the federal transportation alternatives program, which is the largest source of funding for trail development. Rtc steadfastly defends the federal railbanking statute in congress and the courts as an essential tool to preserve unused rail corridors. Rtc also monitors litigation on cases involving enforcement of federal laws related to railbanking.

member programs - in addition to the programs provided to members through public information and education, rtc is also digitizing member and constituent information and trails information, creating a centralized database that will assist the organization in identifying opportunities for linking trail systems and catalyzing support of trail projects. Other activities include delivery of member benefit and service programs. Member programs: expenses $470,949. Revenue $ 2600. Research - rtc's research program focuses on creating innovative tools that can empower communities to advance trail systems in their cities, towns and regions, while also monitoring the benefits trails bring to communities and the implementation of state and federal programs that provide the funding and resources to build and maintain trails. Research: expenses $196,064. Revenue $0.

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