Pathways to Happiness, Health and Prosperity.
One of the things I dig most about working at the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is that our work goes far beyond just building trails.
RTC staff understand that the physical trail itself is only half the story – the other half is the community that forms around it, the stewards, the sense of ownership, turning the pathway into a loved and well-used local asset.
Facilitating that sense of community ownership manifests itself in things like helping local elementary students paint a mural beside the trail, staging public events on the trail, and even providing a sense of security when trail users feel threatened by punks and vandals.
After a few muggings and creepy incidents on the Met Branch Trail here in Washington D.C., Rails-to-Trails staff sought a creative solution in a partnership with the Guardian Angels, launching a program of volunteer safety patrols, and a bike buddy system for commuters to stay safe in numbers.
Today the Washington Post featured the RTC’s community-based effort to respond to security concerns on the Met Branch Trail. Congrats to everyone involved in the great initiative, a beautiful example of why a trail is only as good as the people who grow together around it.