Join the network of the nationwide trails community!
American Trails strives to enrich the quality of life for all people and the sustainable development of communities by advancing and promoting the development, preservation, and enjoyment of diverse, high quality trails and greenways.
american trails envisions trails within 15 minutes
every American home, school, and workplace
American Trails envisions a network of diverse, high quality trails for all people and a trail within 15 minutes of every home, school, and workplace.
American Trails seeks trails and greenways that promote:
Accessibility: A national infrastructure of trails and greenways that are a part of everyday life and accessible to all people of varying abilities, ages, and backgrounds
Healthy lifestyles: Improved fitness, health, and well-being for all people through trails and greenways that offer opportunities for physical activity, recreation, rejuvenation, and preventative health care
Economic vitality: A trail system that contributes to the financial strength and attractiveness of a community by enhancing business opportunities, tourism, and property values
Sustainable development: A trail system that offers alternative transportation opportunities, contributes to the health and vitality of a community, and connects people to nature
Best practices: Innovative, sustainable, and technically sound guidelines that are understood and applied by decision makers in the planning, design, development, and construction of high quality trail systems
Experiences in the outdoors: Responsible and enjoyable opportunities that are afforded to all trail users and contribute to each community of trail recreationists
Appreciation for the outdoors: Inspiring trail experiences that cultivate an appreciation for our natural and cultural heritage
Learning in the outdoors: Formal and informal educational and interpretive opportunities that promote understanding of our “sense of place”
Connectivity: Trail systems that link communities, natural areas, and people
By Jenny Rigby, American Trails Board
In October 2011, the board and staff of American Trails convened in Arizona and began the introspective process of revisiting the mission and vision statements of the organization. Not taking this task lightly, the team did some serious soul searching, taking stock of American Trails’ services, drivers, and values, and then clearly defining the organization’s niche.
At the end of hours of robust dialogue and many exchanges of email, the mission statement evolved from “the pursuit of a national infrastructure of trails and greenways” to recognition that American Trails’ efforts ultimately “enrich lives and communities.” This truly gets at the heart of our organization.
The next step was to examine the vision statement and subject it (and team members) to another round of rigorous discussion! We knew we needed to expand the introductory statement and specifically define our vision five years out. In the course of discussion, we soon realized that the existing support statements were better served as core values.
Ultimately, American Trails’ vision statement went from a listing of 10 purposes of trails and greenways (with a notable absence of mention of education and interpretation) to one overarching statement, “American Trails envisions a network of diverse, high quality trails for all people and a trail within 15 minutes of every home, school, and workplace.” This statement is now supported by nine core values that cover the breadth of benefits trails and greenways offer.
American Trails recognizes the value of these statements. They are fundamentally important to our capacity to be successful and effective as an organization. We intend to review these statements on a regular basis. We also intend to keep them well within view on a daily basis.
We welcome your comments... and if you're not already a member of American Trails, we hope you'll join us! See the Membership Form for details or call (530) 547-2060.
Looking for trail-related services and products? check our business supporters!