For immediate release
March 16, 2010
Contact: Kim Hutson de Belle
From the trailhead to the halls of Congress….
American Hiking Society’s Hike the Hill 2010 Successful Voice for Trails and Hikers
American Hiking Society’s Hike the Hill: Trails Advocacy Week 2010 welcomed trails advocates and hiking enthusiasts to Washington, DC February 20-25 for the 13th year of promotion and protection for our nation’s system of trails and treasured landscapes. This dynamic group of hikers and volunteers met with members of Congress, federal land management agencies and the Obama Administration to advocate for trails, open space and related conservation benefits. Participants spent the week brushing up advocacy strategies, getting up to speed on important legislative and policy issues, and educating and urging congress to protect trails and the hiking experience coast to coast!
The signature event of Hike the Hill was the inaugural Hike on the National Mall. For the first time in 29 years, American Hiking issued the call to trails leaders and hiking enthusiasts to hike to our nation’s Capitol at this kick-off event. The Hike on the National Mall demonstrated the importance of trails for our health, for our sense of place and community pride, and for the preservation and protection of our nation’s treasured landscapes. Over 100 Hike the Hill advocates and conservation partners gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and hiked up the National Mall along the East Coast Greenway to the U.S. Capital Building. Hikers were greeted at the Capitol steps by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) – both long-time trails champions within the Congressional Trails Caucus.
“My heartfelt thanks go out to the trail advocates—young and old—who joined us from across the country for Hike the Hill” offered Gregory Miller, American Hiking Society’s President. “As the national voice for hikers, I was proud that we marshaled a strong, unified trails community to build a groundswell of public support for trails and the hiking experience.”
We have much to celebrate in 2010!Advocates held over 500 individual meetings on Capitol Hill, with Congressional leadership, USDA/Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Office of Management and Budget, Senate and House Interior Appropriations Committees, and Department of the Interior’s Office of Youth Employment. Hike the Hill 2010 demonstrates the contributions and commitment of our national community of trails and hiking enthusiasts and their conservation partners who work tirelessly to promote, protect and maintain our national system of trails.
Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call (301) 565-6704.