Help Us Pave the Way for Future Trail Stewards of the World!

Your donation of $10 or more will go far for our Emerging Leaders!

2015 Emerging Leaders and Mentors field day

Our Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program is one the most important and rewarding aspects of our work and we need your help to change lives! American Trails is a Redding, California-based nonprofit trails advocacy organization that works on behalf of all trail types. We host the biennial International Trails Symposium, which will take place in Dayton, Ohio, May 7-10, 2017. We are sponsoring the Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program which will enable up to 16 Emerging Leaders (ages 21-25) to participate in the 2017 International Trails Symposium. Please join us in supporting the Emerging Leaders by donating to our scholarship program! Scroll down for more information on supporting candidates from the Redding area and see how some of our past scholarship recipients have been impacted by the program.

Each Emerging Leaders Scholarship is worth $2,500 and will provide our scholars with:

  • A mentor pairing for every scholarship recipient
  • Leadership, team building, and professional development activities
  • A field day highlighting trail issues and opportunities
  • Full access to Symposium events and educational sessions
  • A group presentation on the Symposium experience in a dedicated concurrent session
  • Networking with Symposium participants

In an effort to urge Redding locals to get involved, we hope to provide a local Emerging Leader with a scholarship to the 2017 International Trails Symposium from right here in our hometown of Redding, California or surrounding area! We are so happy to sponsor our Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program and hope that you will aid in making a difference in the lives of our future trail stewards!

American Trails works with numerous sponsors and agencies to organize the biennial International Trails Symposium in order to bring together trail and greenway enthusiasts, managers, planners, and users from all over the world for an inspirational and educational conference. We strive to help all levels of trails enthusiasts with technical information on building better, more sustainable trails while also ensuring they are accessible. It is American Trails’ goal to immerse our scholarship recipients in learning the best practices and trends in the field to help pave their careers in the trails industry! Our Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program has had such an impact on the scholars who have thrived from the experiences they had at our International Trails Symposium and we hope to continue changing lives for years to come!

Thank you for your support!

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American Trails is a tax-exempt, nonprofit charitable organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible.

Meet some of our previous Emerging Leaders Scholarship recipients!

Find out what winning this scholarship meant to them and be moved by their inspiring stories!

Broadening horizons
David Rogers had been very involved in Conservations Corps work. He had taken a break from college and was working maintaining trails in Massachusetts. While he loved this work, he began to realize that there were other aspects to trails beyond their maintenance. Attending the 2015 International Trails Symposium helped David discover a much broader world. He realized how trail systems require planning, management, and extensive networking with adjacent communities, businesses, and other stakeholders. Recharged with energy and knowledge, David reenrolled in college after returning from the Symposium. He is pursuing a degree in Parks and Recreation and hopes to hon his GIS skills to study urban demographics and trail linkages. For David, the Emerging Leaders scholarship broadened his horizons beyond trail maintenance and reset his rewarding career path.

Lending critical support
Erin Daly became aware of the 2015 International Trails Symposium while working as an unpaid intern in Washington D.C.—the only way she could stay involved in pedestrian and bicycle work as a young college graduate. She wanted to attend the Symposium, but travel and Symposium fees equated to ten percent of her entire annual income. The Emerging Leaders scholarship removed this barrier, enabling Erin to attend and discover all the program would offer. Thanks in part to the connections she made, as well as the skills and confidence she gained at the Symposium, Erin now has a full time research job with an environmental nonprofit while she prepares for graduate studies in urban planning.  For Erin, the Emerging Leaders scholarship enabled her to not only set but also achieve some very ambitious goals.




Building confidence
Growing up in rural New Mexico, Grecia Nuñez had not had the opportunity to see the “big picture” and understand the spectrum of benefits trails provide. At the time she applied for an Emerging Leaders scholarship to attend the 2013 International Trails Symposium, she was a sophomore at New Mexico State University. Through the American Trails Emerging Leaders scholarship, Grecia was able to attend the Symposium. Through dialogue with colleagues, something became apparent: younger generations perceive trails differently than older generations. Grecia felt that people of all ages need to have a seat at the planning table. Three years after attending the Symposium, she is now working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Panamá and remains passionate about working in conservation and connecting minority youth to America’s great outdoors.  For Grecia, the Emerging Leaders scholarship enabled her to gain confidence and realize she has a voice.