Minnesota Recreational Trail Users Association receives national award for work with Recreational Trail Program

(Released June 22, 2009)

The Minnesota Recreational Trail Users Association (MRTUA) has received a national achievement award for its work with Minnesota’s Recreational Trail Program (RTP). The Outstanding Recreational Trail Advisory Committee award was presented by the Coalition for Recreational Trails in Washington, D.C., on June 10 during Great Outdoors Week.

Nancy Hanson, president of MRTUA, and Andrew Korsberg, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) trail program coordinator, accepted the award on behalf of MRTUA and the DNR. Minnesota was selected for this award by the Awards Committee of the National Association of State Park Directors.

“Minnesota is considered a national leader in outdoor trail recreation,” Korsberg said. “This award is a great example of the DNR’s collaborative work with stakeholders.”

Examples of MRTUA’s accomplishments include:
  • Fostering constructive dialog among user groups, resulting in collaboration and consensus-building between motorized and non-motorized trail users.
  • Making recommendations on $1.8 million in annual funding for RTP projects that have helped create and sustain recreational trail opportunities in Minnesota.
  • Securing a grant from the Department of Tourism and partnering with the University of Minnesota and the DNR to complete an unprecedented economic impact study of trail users, which will provide data that can be used for planning, marketing and promoting trail use.
  • The RTP is a federal grant program that provides funding for recreational trails and trail facilities nationwide. RTP in Minnesota is administered by the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division and funded annually with $2 million generated by federal gas tax revenues designated for nonhighway recreational trail fuel use.
MRTUA is made up of volunteer members representing 10 types of trail users: snowmobilers, hikers, four-wheel drive enthusiasts, equestrians, cross-country skiers, all-terrain vehicle riders, off-road motorcyclists, bicyclists, mountain bikers and in-line skaters. As required by federal statute, MRTUA serves as the advisory committee for RTP, making recommendations on grants and program policies.

Caption: From left, Andrew Korsberg, DNR trail program coordinator; Nancy Hanson, president of MRTUA; Priscilla Geigis, Massachusetts State Park Director (representing the Awards Committee of the National Association of State Park Directors); and Derrick Crandall, president of the American Recreation Coalition.