NEWS from Congressman John W. Olver
1111 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-2101
Tel: 202-225-5335 Fax: 202-226-1224
Representing the First District of Massachusetts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 11, 2007
BERKSHIRE BIKE PATH AND GREAT BARRINGTON TRAILS TO RECEIVE SUPPORT FROM THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman John Olver and the National Park Service (NPS) announced that the Berkshire Bike Path and Great Barrington Trails have been selected to receive assistance from the NPS’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA).
The applications were supported by the Berkshire Bike Path Council, the Great Barrington Land Conservancy and the Alliance for a Healthier Great Barrington. They were selected from the most competitive field of requests ever received by the agency and were two of only 10 new projects accepted in New England, New York and New Jersey.
“I am very pleased to hear that the National Park has recognized the good work of the Berkshire Bike Path Council, the Great Barrington Land Conservancy and the Alliance for a Healthier Great Barrington,” Congressman John Olver said. “With the support of the National Park Service, these groups will be able to help us all further celebrate the distinctive landscapes of Berkshire County.”
"The National Park Service is proud to support such capable partners and eager to help contribute to the Berkshire's network of trails and greenways," said Steve Golden, National Park Service Rivers & Trails Program Manager.
Berkshire Bike Path Council
The Berkshire Bike Path Council is spearheading an effort to promote cycling and the creation of regional bike trail network as part of the region’s tourism, public health and transportation goals. Over the next year the National Park Service Rivers & Trails staff will assist in trail planning and development and help identify preferred alignments in North Adams, Adams, Williamstown, and Pittsfield.
State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) said, “Since its opening in 2001, the Ashuwillticook Trail has become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The Berkshire Bike Path Council has worked hard to establish this 11 mile multi-use trail and I am impressed with their plans to extend the trail north to the Vermont boarder, and south to the Connecticut border, creating a contiguous trail spanning the width of the state. I was happy to lend my support to the Berkshire Bike Path Council’s application to the NPS’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. With the expertise of the NPS staff, plans for the trail’s extensions will continue to move forward.”
Great Barrington Trails
The Great Barrington Trails project will help develop a model town-wide trail network that celebrates the town's natural and cultural history; promotes community public health; and links with regional trails, including the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The National Park Service will provide trail planning and design consultation and will identify possible funding sources for trail construction and restoration.
Through the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program, the National Park Service helps communities and neighborhoods preserve their important local resources, protect river resources, develop new trails and greenways and create new open space. These projects are locally-led with RTCA staff supporting local recreation and conservation leaders. This year, 30 projects were selected as Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance recipients in the 8 states across New England and New York and New Jersey. In 2006-7, RTCA efforts helped 125 communities leverage $65 million in funds for targeted projects.
For more information on the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program, please visit www.nps.gov/rtca or call Charles Tracy (NPS) at 617 223 5210.