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2010 CRT Awards
Minnesota’s Trail Programs Receive Highest Honors


As a part of Great Outdoors Week, on June 8, 2010, the Coalition for Recreational Trails and the American Recreational Coalition presented their annual achievement awards for projects funded through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The RTP returns funds to the states from Highway Trust fund receipts attributable to fuel used for off-highway recreation. Funds are used for maintenance and construction of trails and other trail-related uses.
 
Minnesota’s recipients this year were the Agassiz Recreational Trail for the 2010 Construction & Design Award and the Coalition of Recreational Trail Users for the 2010 Education & Communication Award.   Minnesota also was recognized as receiving Honorable Mention in the Outstanding State Trail Program category.
 
The Agassiz Recreational Trail (ART) is a rail corridor that has been acquired and converted to a natural surface multiuse trail. Fifty-two miles in length, it runs from Ulen to Crookston in Northwestern Minnesota. The trail runs through scenic farmland and the design included construction and/or refurbishing of 11 impressive bridges, the largest of which is 300 feet long at a 55 foot height over the Wild Rice River near Twin Valley. More information on ART can be found at www.agassiztrail.com.
 
The Education & Communications award recognizes organizations for enhancing trail use and enjoyment through increased environmental awareness, promotion of trail-related safety, and encouragement of trail related outdoor recreation. The Coalition of Recreational Trail Users (CRTU) received the award for its educational trailer which is used across Minnesota to educate the general public and rider enthusiasts on the safe and responsible use of motorized equipment and where they can ride. The Coalition of Recreational Trail Users is a non-profit organization composed members representing the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota (ATVAM), the Amateur Riders Motorcycle Association (ARMCA), Minnesota 4-Wheel Drive Association (MN4WDA) and Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association (MnUSA).  More information on CRTU can be found at www.rectrailusers.org.  
 
The legislation creating the RTP program applies the “user-pay/user-benefit” philosophy of the Highway Trust Fund, returning federal tax on fuel used for non-highway recreation to the states for trail projects. The program, although funded by motorized recreation, provides a valuable funding source for all types of trails, leveraging local funds to complete trail projects.   Since its inception under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficient Act of 1991 (ISTEA), in Minnesota the RTP has provided over $15 million in grants to 350 projects with total project costs exceeding $67 million. More information on the program can be found at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/rectrails/index.htm.
 
The Coalition for Recreation Trails (CRT) is a national organization representing the nation’s major trail interests and has been working since 1992 to build awareness and understanding of the RTP, to support its implementation and to help ensure that it receives adequate funding. For more information about CRT and its members, go to www.funoutdoors.com/coalitions/crt.
 
The American Recreational Coalition (ARC)is a Washington-based non-profit organization formed in 1979. Since its inception, ARC has sought to catalyze public/private partnerships to enhance and protect outdoor recreational opportunities and the resources upon which such experiences are based. ARC conducts research on a regular basis, organizes and conducts national conferences and meetings and disseminates information through a variety of newsletters, columns and other media regarding recreational needs and initiatives. For more information about ARC go to www.funoutdoors.com/arc.
 
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Agassiz Recreational Trail Award Open Item
Coalition of Recreational Trail Users Award Open Item
Photos Open Item


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