Restoring the National Trails and Rivers

Hailey Minard, reporter, Writer

The 50th anniversary of the National Trails and Wild & Scenic Rivers acts were celebrated in 2018, which helped recognize the beautiful rivers and trails along the National parks. It also showed that the government had the priority to preserve the scenic areas for future generations. There are over 60,000 miles of protected trails and 13,413 miles of protected rivers all across the United States. All of the trails and rivers are diverse, so it is an adventure of a lifetime to visit all of them. The scenic areas are great for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiast, or people who are trying new activities than sitting in front of a screen for hours. 

The National Park Foundation had donated over $600,000 to funding the rivers and trails. The funding came from partners of the National Park Foundation, which possibly included the Coca Cola Company, Nature Valley, Alphina, Nest, and Niantic. The funding came from 20 different national park sites that were connected with the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. The projects benefited the natural areas by restoring the areas, making it possible for people who need the trails more accessible, and gaining the communities to help keep the preservation continuing for generations to come. 

The other benefit from the funding was the strengthening of the volunteer community. The National Park Foundation had provided additional funding to gain more groups of the rivers and trails grantees. This strengthened their volunteer programs. The grantees brought in over 2,000 volunteers to the local trails and rivers to clean trails, get rid of invasive vegetation, build picnic tables and canoe landings, and provide training. 4,000 other community members visited their local nature areas to do recreational activities like hiking, paddle boarding, and nature walks. 

Even though the trails and rivers are in either state or national parks, you can help your local parks too. There are many parks and nature recreational areas around in New Jersey. The local parks have clean ups that anyone could precipitate in. So come join the crew of volunteers to help the local parks around Burlington County.