Trail Advocacy & Coalitions

Contact information for all the groups listed.

Children In Nature

We created the Partnership for Children in Nature to make sure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to learn about their environment, connect with their natural world and grow to become responsible stewards. Thanks to the hard work of the Partnership and the support of the national No Child Left Inside Coalition, our program is being heralded as a national model. Together we are laying the groundwork for programming that will forever change the lives of Maryland’s children and the future of our planet.

Maryland Recreation and Park Association (MRPA)

The purpose of the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association, Inc. is to unite recreation and park professionals and citizen advocates to advance park, recreation and environmental conservation efforts through networking, development and training, and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Marylanders.

  • parks and recreation administrators
  • recreation programmers and supervisors
  • park planners, supervisors and maintenance workers
  • therapeutic recreation specialists
  • academics, researchers and students
  • elected members of recreation and park policy boards
  • appointed members of recreation and park advisory boards
  • citizen volunteers involved in all aspects of recreation and parks
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

    NRPA is the leading advocacy organization dedicated to the advancement of public parks and recreation opportunities. Founded in 1965 through the merger of 5 national organizations dedicated to the same cause, NRPA has grown over the years - in total membership, in outreach efforts, in building partnerships, and in serving as the voice and defender of parks and recreation. NRPA is funded through membership dues, conference and event sales, and charitable contributions. These funds are used to conduct research, education and policy initiatives on behalf of the movement.

    American Recreation Coalition (ARC)

    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. ARC also monitors legislative and regulatory proposals that influence recreation and works with government agencies and the U.S. Congress to study public policy issues that will shape future recreational opportunities.

    The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT)

    The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) is a federation of national and regional trail-related organizations. Its members work together to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program, which returns federal gasoline taxes paid by off-highway recreationists to the states for trail development and maintenance. CRT was formed in 1992 following the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) to ensure that the National Recreational Trails Fund (now known as the Recreational Trails Program or RTP) established by that legislation received adequate funding. During the six years of ISTEA, CRT worked to ensure that program was continued and strengthened as part of the ISTEA reauthorization process. Following the 1998 passage of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21)and the 2005 passage of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), both of which significantly increased RTP program funding, CRT's efforts have been focused on supporting its continued, effective implementation and its extension and enhancement through the next round of transportation legislation.

    The BlueRibbon Coalition

    The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national non-profit organization dedicated to protecting responsible recreational access to public lands and waters. We want to keep your land open for use, whether you recreate on a mountain bike, snowmobile, motorcycle, personal watercraft, ATV, four-wheel drive, horse, or your hiking boots. Today, the BlueRibbon Coalition is a respected national recreation group that represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide.

    Outdoor Alliance Coalition

    The Outdoor Alliance, a coalition of six organizations, lobbies for legislation to improve recreational experiences for its individual members and the larger human-powered recreation community. Member organizations represent 100 million mountain bikers, hikers, kayakers, canoeists, backcountry skiers and climbers and include International Mountain Biking Association, the Access Fund, American Hiking Society, American Canoe Association, American Whitewater and Winter Wildlands Alliance.

    Partnership for a Healthier America

    The Let’s Move! campaign, started by First Lady Michelle Obama, has an ambitious national goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight. Let’s Move! will combat the epidemic of childhood obesity through a comprehensive approach that will engage every sector impacting the health of children and will provide schools, families and communities simple tools to help kids be more active, eat better, and get healthy.

    The National Recreation Trails Program

    The National Trail System Act of 1968 (Public Law 90-543) authorized creation of a national trail system comprised of National Recreation Trails, National Scenic Trails and National Historic Trails. While National Scenic Trails and National Historic Trails may only be designated by an act of Congress, National Recreation Trails may be designated by the Secretary of Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture to recognize exemplary trails of local and regional significance in response to an application from the trail's managing agency or organization. Through designation, these trails are recognized as part of America's national system of trails. The National Recreation Trails Program supports designated NRT's with an array of benefits, including promotion, technical assistance, networking and access to funding. Its goal is to promote the use and care of existing trails and stimulate the development of new trails to create a national network of trails and realize the vision of  "Trails for All Americans."

    No Child Left Inside® Coalition

    The No Child Left Inside® Coalition is composed of environmental, educational, and public health organizations, businesses, civic organizations and other public enterprises, all dedicated to ensuring a comprehensive education for all.

    Let's Move - Let's Move Outside

    Moving outside is a fun, easy, and affordable way for families to get physically active and stay healthy. Kids need at least 60 minutes of active and vigorous play each day to stay healthy and one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to meet this goal is by playing outside. By linking parents to nearby parks, trails and waters - and providing tips and ideas - Let’s Move Outside! will help families develop a more active lifestyle. The U.S. Departments of the Interior (DOI) and Agriculture (USDA) are leading a coordinated effort to get kids moving outside. Together, these agencies oversee more than one-fifth of the nation’s land - including millions of acres of National forests, parks and trails

    Bike Maryland

    The Baltimore Bicycle Alliance works to actively influence state, city and county level decisions. One more bike is One Less Car! During the 2010 legislative session, a small group of bicyclists from the community met with Delegates, worked on bill language, testified at the hearings and helped to gain support from representatives. This effort helped immensely. If a few concerned citizens can help pass legislation, with more involvement from the community, we can help create a new transportation culture and infrastructure!

    East Coast Greenway

    The East Coast Greenway is a developing trail system, spanning nearly 3,000 miles as it winds its way between Canada and Key West, linking all the major cities of the eastern seaboard. Over 25 percent of the route is already on safe, traffic-free paths.

    International Mountain Bicycling Association

    The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide. Since 1988, IMBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trailwork participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail management solutions. IMBA's worldwide network includes 35,000 individual members, more than 750 bicycle clubs, more than 160 corporate partners and about 600 retailer shops. IMBA's members live in all 50 U.S. states, most Canadian provinces and in 30 other countries.

    The League of American Bicyclists

    The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of the nation's 57 million cyclists. With a current membership of 300,000 affiliated cyclists, including 25,000 individuals and 700 affiliated organizations, the League works to bring better bicycling to your community.

    The Bikes Belong Coalition

    The Bikes Belong Coalition was formed in 1999 as the national coalition of bicycle retailers and suppliers working to put more people on bikes more often. U.S. bicycle companies recognized that they could accomplish more for bicycling by working together than by working independently. From helping create safe places to ride to promoting bicycling, we carefully select projects and partnerships that have the capacity to make a difference.

    The Alliance for Biking & Walking

    The Alliance for Biking & Walking, formerly known as Thunderhead Alliance, is the North American coalition of grassroots bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations. We unite advocacy leaders to help them become more effective by sharing best practices and innovations. We strengthen organizations through resource sharing and training opportunities. We help advocates create organizations in underserved communities. Alliance organizations are working together to transform communities into great places to bike and walk.

    The Appalachian Trail Conservancy

    The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to the preservation and management of the natural, scenic, historic, and cultural resources associated with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in order to provide primitive outdoor-recreation and educational opportunities for Trail visitors. 

    Trail Conservancy

    Trail Conservancy, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide assistance in developing, building and maintaining natural surface trails using sustainable design principles that minimize negative effects on the environment. In addition, we promote and advocate shared-use trails that improve the quality of life for all trail visitors while also preserving natural resources. Trail Conservancy was formed by a group of outdoor enthusiasts who recognized the need to preserve and protect our trails. We found that while volunteer assistance is useful, it often times is not sufficient to meet the increasing demands to keep trails sustainable. By creating an organization dedicated solely to trails, we can focus our efforts on securing the necessary funds to help us accomplish more within a shorter time frame.

    Trail Town Program

    The Trail Town Program envisions a corridor of revitalized trailside communities along the Great Allegheny Passage that reap the economic benefits of trail-based tourism and recreation as part of a larger, coordinated approach to regional economic development. The long-term economic viability of participating communities is to be achieved through concentrated business development efforts that capitalize on the trail user market.

    Also See: Maryland Trail Users - Groups and Clubs

    Let's Get Connected!

    Momentum is Building to make Trails in Maryland "Second-to-None."