National Recreational Trail Grants Available - Applications Due July 1, 2010

[B' Spokes: I am bringing this story to the top again because I just found a link that says Maryland gets $1,158,618 in Recreational Trail funding this year. Now I am trying to figure out who says this should build 1 trail, 38 trails or even a 100 trails. What would you rather have, one really good (expensive) trail a year or a lot of inexpensive trails? I'm thinking of a trail yet unbuilt in Baltimore County and if I remember correctly the cost was $100,000, whoops too expensive for this program so it will remain unbuilt, yet we have enough funds for 11 trails of this nature to be built per year. Wouldn't it be better to open things up to allow things to be built that need to be built in areas of need over an arbitrary financial limit?]

Each year Maryland is apportioned National Recreational Trails Program funds through the Federal Surface Transportation Equity Act for disbursement to qualifying projects. These funds, administered by the Maryland State Highway Administration, have made it possible for communities across the State to develop, improve and maintain trails in order to provide access to Maryland’s awesome natural and recreational resources.

We are always looking for eligible projects, and invite you to consider applying for National Recreational Trails Program funds for your recreational trail projects. To learn more about eligible project types and program criteria, as well as accessing a digital application, visit the following website: <a href=""></a>; . Scroll down to the “Recreational Trails Program” under “Environment and Community”.

Also, please be advised that this is an 80/20 percent reimbursement program, and not a grant program. Awarded funds will be used to reimburse sponsors for 80 percent of the expenditures incurred; invoicing is done on a monthly basis once construction or purchase of materials/equipment is started. The funds are limited and therefore awarded to the most qualified projects in an amount not to exceed $30,000 per project. Eligible projects include:

* Maintenance and restoration of existing trails;
* Development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages for recreation and transportation oriented trails
* Purchase and lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment;
* Construction of new recreational trials;
* Acquisition of easement and fee simple title to property for recreational trail purposes;
* Implementation of interpretive/educational programs to promote intrinsic qualities, alternative transportation, safety, and environmental protection, as those objectives relate to the use of recreational trails.

Applications for this year’s funds are being accepted until July 1, 2010. Please submit to:

Recreational Trails Program
Office of Environmental Design
State Highway Administration
707 North Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Awards will be made subject to Maryland's receipt of its fiscal year 2011 Federal Fund allocation for the program. Thank you for your interest in the National Recreational Trails Program.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Terry Maxwell at mailto:tmaxwell&quot;at&quot;

Terry Maxwell
Maryland Scenic Byways/Recreational Trails
Office of Environmental Design
State Highway Administration

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Vote for Rails-to-Trails

American Express is donating a combined $1,000,000 divided among five charities from unique categories. One charity in the running is Rails-to-Trails. Rails-to-Trails has played a key role in the development of several local, region and national trails; including the Capital Crescent Trail and Metropolitan Branch Trail. Right now they are trailing the National Trust for Historic Preservation (another good cause) by a scant margin. If you would like to support Rails-to-Trails and help them secure an extra $200,000 you can vote at

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The Great Bicycle Tour of the C&O Canal

Date: Saturday July 10, 2010 to Tuesday July 13, 2010

Location: Boonsboro, MD

Type of Event: Touring

The Great Bicycle Tour of the C&amp;O Canal (TGBT) will be held Saturday, July 10 through Tuesday, July 13. Nearly 80 riders have already registered for San Mar’s July 10-13 ride along the length of the 186-mile C&amp;O Canal—beginning in Cumberland, MD and ending in Georgetown, District of Columbia. Ride capacity is 150.

The ride is fully supported. Riders, their bikes and gear are transported from San Mar Children's Home in Boonsboro to Cumberland for the start of the ride through the country’s longest National Park. Four days later they will be transported from the end of the ride in Georgetown back to San Mar.

In between, riders are treated to one of the premier rides in the East with overnight stops in Hancock, Williamsport, and Frederick. Community groups, including the Cumberland Rotary Club, and Lions Clubs from Hancock, Hagerstown and Boonsboro help along the way. Members of the groups provide rest and lunch stops for the riders.

The Cumberland Valley Cycling Club is a ride sponsor, as are Best Buy, which provides a support truck and driver and Wheelbase Bike Shop, Frederick, which sends mechanics along to help throughout the entire tour, and Hagerstown Ford.

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The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy is seeking 40 volunteers!

What: Trail Maintenance/Invasive Plant Removal/Native Planting Workshop at Loch Raven Reservoir

When: May 29th, 9:30-2:30 pm. FREE WORKSHOP!

2009 Trail Maintenance Workshop

Why: Our goal is to offer a hands-on learning experience within Loch Raven Reservoir on the proper techniques of trail maintenance, (such as rolling grade dips to prevent sediment erosion and improve water quality), and on an invasive removal and native planting project by a Dr. of Biology from the Catonsville Community College of Baltimore. A bonus educational presentation on the history of Loch Raven Reservoir and the water supply system by the Baltimore City Gov. Watershed Manager will also be offered.

This FREE event is made possible by a conservation grant from Recreational Equipment, Inc., a new partner with Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC), and partnerships forged with the City of Baltimore Reservoir Natural Resources Section and the Watershed Rangers, the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts, Sierra Club, and the Prettyboy Watershed Alliance.

Who: No Experience is necessary! We are looking for middle, high, and college level students, REI employees, community businesses and residents, scouts, and trail users who care about our drinking water, our watershed, and the Chesapeake Bay! Do you like being outside in nature and dont mind working hard? Do you want to receive community service hours? Then join us, and help improve the quality of our drinking water and the environment! (Ages 12 and up.)

When: Please arrive by 9:15 am to sign in/register. We will start the workshop at 9:30 am sharp. Rain date June 6th, same time.

Where: From 695, take exit 27 Dulaney Valley Rd. north. Follow for about 3 miles and cross the Dulaney Valley Bridge at the reservoir. Bear right at the light just after the bridge to stay on Dulaney Valley Rd. and go about 2 miles to the T intersection where Peercess Landing is on the left. At the T intersection, go straight onto Loch Raven Drive. You will go about 1 mile, pass the next intersection at Morgan Mill Rd., and stop at the Pines area just before the bridge. Park on the water side of road. Meet at road where all are parked.

Equipment: Remember to wear sturdy shoes, bring a hat, gloves, large shovel and clothes that can get dirty. Bring your own lunch and water. We will break for lunch around noon.

Registration: Volunteers must register by May 22, (space limited to 40 volunteers). To register or for questions, contact Peggy Perry, Program Director of Gunpowder Valley Conservancy at 410-668-0118 or pperry&quot;at&quot; .
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Maryland Trails Regional Roundtables Scheduled! Please register online today!

You are invited to a Trails Roundtable!

On behalf of Governor Martin O’Malley and Secretary of Natural Resources John R. Griffin, we are asking for your ideas, experience, expertise, your vision and your help. If you could envision Maryland as having a trail system second to none, what would that look like? Four regional roundtables are scheduled for June, and together we hope to come up with an answer.

We are inviting an array of trail users and enthusiasts, planners, conservation, transportation, park and recreation professionals, friends groups and interested citizens to participate. Our hope is that each of these regional roundtables will provide a sense of what trails exist, any trail plans in the works or hopes for future trails and how we can work together and share information to improve the trail systems in Maryland.

Trail users are diverse including commuters, bicyclist, hikers, walkers, skiers, roller-bladers, runners, joggers, families, seniors, kids, pet lovers, campers, birders, off-road vehicle riders, equestrians and many more groups, each with their own view of what makes trails so great and so important. We need to hear from you!

The ideas, information and momentum from these regional brainstorming sessions will culminate in the first ever Maryland Trails Summit planned for this fall. We are facilitating these discussions in order to build on the amazing work everyone is currently doing on trails. These sessions are also an opportunity to network, collect information, ideas and dreams and begin development of an online resource that will connect all of you with each other and with our citizens and visitors.

We hope you will accept our invitation to this event. Seating is limited so please RSVP no later than May 26, 2010. Follow the link below for online registration.

John F. Wilson
Land Trails Coordinator
Department of Natural Resources

[Read more for locations and dates as well as how to register.]

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Cockeysville meeting to focus on hiker, biker trails

From Towson Times

The Baltimore County Office of Planning is hosting a series of citizen workshops this month to seek input for a plan to construct pedestrian and bicycle features in the urban sections of western Baltimore County.

The local workshop on the Western County Pedestrian and Bicycle Access Plan is being held Wednesday, April 21, from 7 to 9 p.m., at *censored*eysville Middle School, 10401 Greenside Drive, Cockeysville.

The workshops will give county residents a chance to discuss their experiences walking and bicycling in the county and to suggest ways to improve sidewalks and crossings, on-street bicycle facilities and off-road trails.

Attendees will be asked to identify priorities for the five most important upgrades in their council district.

&quot;The goal is to help make Baltimore County a better and safer place for walking and bicycling,&quot; County Executive Jim Smith said in a release on the workshops.

&quot;As many as 50 percent of household trips are 3 miles or less, and most of them are made by car,&quot; Smith said.

In the Towson area, the Northern Central Railroad-Jones Falls Connector is being eyed as a potential commuting route for bicyclists between Hunt Valley and Towson. Options for extending the NCR Trail to the Warren Road light rail station are under study.

Also, plans for the Robert E. Lee Park, located in the county but owned by Baltimore City, include hiker-biker trails.

In addition to the April 21 meeting, officials conducting the study will hold a walk-around road audit at Cockeysville Middle School on April 24, with parents who are interested in improving the walking environment to the school and the recreation center there.

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Show support for Regional Trail through Cromwell Valley

Greetings: this is an important corridor (Minebank Run (or Ma Pa RR)/Gunpowder Falls Trail) recognized within the Eastern BCBP as well as the Missing Links/Maryland Trails: A Greener Way To Go Plan <a href=""></a>; . We encourage you to spread the word, encouraging folks to join this effort to link the inaccessible, vast natural/recreational resources-so close to Towson -by way of a regional hike/bike trail. Be sure to contact Richard Layman and Jim Smith about this corridor and join us by replying and/or joining our Facebook group: Cromwell Valley Trail Intiative.
Terry Maxwell
Show support for regional trail through Cromwell Valley
Letters to the Editor
Posted 4/14/10

A public meeting concerning the Western Baltimore County Bike and Pedestrian Plan, will be held April 21 at *censored*eysville Middle School, to obtain feedback concerning potential locations for both on-road bike facilities and off-road shared-use paths that, together, would comprise a bike facility network providing access to parks, schools, neighborhoods, etc.

Over the past several years, I've been contacted by countless residents within the Towson area concerning a growing interest in the development of a hiker/biker trail along Cromwell Valley to the vast, yet inaccessible recreational resources within close proximity to Towson .

Such a trail could start as a bike lane along Cromwell Bridge Road, starting at Providence Road heading north to Loch Raven High School at Cowpens, then an off-road bike/ped facility (shared-use path) from the high school to connect to an &quot;un-tapped&quot; region of wonderful recreational destinations for hiking and biking -- including Cromwell Valley Park (hiking only), Loch Raven Reservoir and Gunpowder Falls State Park, which winds all the way to Belair Road and beyond.

These recreational resources are within close proximity to Towson and are, presently, disconnected and inaccessible because of the hazardous condition of Cromwell Bridge Road .

Also there is no place to park a car at the latter two destinations. Loch Raven High School provides ample parking for evening and weekend hikers and bikers that simply need a connection to the nearby parks.

Our community, as well as many others in the Towson area, are going through a transition with many young families moving in. A trail like this would have an extremely positive impact on the quality of life for our neighborhoods by providing a recreational connection to recreational resources so close to our neighborhoods.

As a result, we are encouraging families in the area join us at the April 21 meeting to express support for the development of this trail corridor, by moving forward with the implementation of a county resolution to conduct trail study for this area, which was approved and then tabled in 2007.

A study would be the first step toward developing this wonderful recreational opportunity for the Towson region.

For more information, or to join the distribution list for updates concerning this effort, e-mail, or visit us on Facebook.

Terry Maxwell, member, Cromwell Valley Trail Initiative

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McCaskill Asks LaHood to ‘Put an End to’ Transportation Earmarks

Baltimore Spokes: Just to note, many of Baltimore's bike trails have been the curtsy of Federal Earmarks which ironical counts as MDOT spending Federal money on bike/ped projects. What's going to happen when we don't have the power of congress funding bike/ped projects? Who knows.

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Bridging The GAP

From Cycle Jerk:

Urban Velo bounced this article from Newsweek today about one of the last remaining speed bumps in the completion of the historic C&O / GAP trail connection from DC to Pittsburgh.

The douche bags over at Sandcastle Waterpark, "refused to allow the trail to proceed through their property, even threatening riders with arrest who pedal their bike through their parking lot that features a double yellow line for car traffic, forcing riders to take what amounts to a highway around their property and thwarting what would otherwise be the longest continuous city to city trail in the United States".

These shitbirds are missing a golden marketing opportunity to have legions of active outdoorsy types riding and walking right passed their front door for free. Perhaps they just need some bad press to put this issue in perspective, so please forward this along.

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