Friday, April 18, 2008

Seven Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
April 18, 2008

Celebrate Earth Day with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

This coming Tuesday, April 22, Earth Day signifies a growing global commitment to environmental action and change. People from all backgrounds and beliefs, and every corner of the planet are becoming passionate about preservation. At Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), Earth Day is a perfect opportunity to celebrate one of America's most unique and creative recycling projects: the rail-trail.

When RTC opened its doors in 1986, there were only 250 known miles of rail-trail. Today, the United States has more than 15,000 miles with another 11,000 in development. Rail-trails now provide communities with safe outlets to bicycle, walk, run, ski, skate, ride horses and enjoy the outdoors. From recreation and fitness to transportation, these pathways can have a powerful impact on the health of the American public and the world's climate—and can help us make the lifestyle changes that Earth Day inspires.

So on a day devoted to environmental citizenship and a healthy, sustainable planet, we encourage you to join RTC in expressing your eco-voice on rail-trails.

Organize a fun walk, run or bicycle ride.
Use Earth Day as an opportunity to educate community members on the benefits and versatility of local trails. Rail-trails have a generally flat and even grade, suit a full range of ages and levels of physical ability, and are ideal for all sorts of outdoor activities. Trail rides or walks provide a natural atmosphere for socializing and promoting neighborhood pathways, all while enjoying a fun spring morning or afternoon's exercise outdoors—activism at its most active. So visit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's TrailLink.com to find the perfect rail-trail near you.

Support a local farmer's market
Produce grown in the United States travels an average of 1,500 miles to reach your store's shelves. Buying locally at neighborhood farmer's markets helps you save tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere through long-distance transporting. So call your local trail organization (which you can look up on Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's TrailLink.com) to ask about markets close to pathways, like the year-round farmer's market in the City Hall parking lot of Falls Church, Va., less than a mile from the 45-mile Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD).

Make Earth Day a car-free day
Take more control of your carbon output and energy use by spending your Earth Day without using a motorized vehicle. Then take RTC's Burn Calories, Not Carbon!™ pledge, and encourage others to do so, and join a growing movement of people who have committed to using active, healthier modes of transportation for trips within three miles—and leave a softer carbon footprint on your plant.

Rediscover your natural world
Rail-trail corridors are often perfect for touring and exploring a wide range of wildlife habitats. Keep an eye out for coyotes and rattlesnakes on Kansas' Mill Creek Streamway Park, or enjoy the thousands of migratory birds that make their home around San Diego's Bayshore Bikeway. The Bikeway, in particular, gives visitors a firsthand tour of a restored tidal wetlands and mudflat ecosystem, once nearly lost in the 1970s from sewage discharge and industrial growth. (Find other rail-trails at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's TrailLink.com.)

Stay informed and active
Register for e-mail updates from Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.Registrants receive monthly e-newsletters, as well as more time-sensitive opportunities to express their voice on urgent state and federal initiatives affecting active transportation, trails, walking and biking. It's a great way stay up- to-date on policies affecting rail-trails and active transportation all around the country.

Volunteer to clean up or landscape a local trail
Whether managed by state or nonprofit organizations, rail-trails often depend on the responsible care and efforts of volunteers to stay groomed and welcoming to visitors year-round. So visit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's TrailLink.com to find trail contact information or a link to trail Web sites, and discover how best to contribute to your local pathways. Many organizations around the country plan projects from trailside plantings in the spring to snow clearing in the winter.


Chip in

Make a financial commitment to sustaining trails, walking and biking by donating to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy or a local trail organization. Already, the support RTC members has helped put more than 15,000 miles of rail-trails on the ground, securing the future of rail-trails and enhancing America's communities and countryside.
Your donation can help us do even more!

Make Every Day Earth Day!

Copyright © Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

1 Comments:

Blogger Jennifer said...

Kurt, Thanks again for posting this! It's great that you're helping us get stuff like this out there where more people can see it. Thanks again! Jennifer

Friday, May 16, 2008 11:22:00 AM  

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