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Jeff Ciabotti, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
202.974.5119 (office)


Washington, D.C.—On National Trails Day, Saturday, June 9, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) will present the Friends of the Calumet-Sag Trail with a metropolitan community support grant funded by the Coca-Cola Foundation totaling a projected $35,000 over two years. RTC and Coca-Cola's Metropolitan Grants Program is designed to support and facilitate the growth of trail-building communities and projects across the country. This is the first in a series of grants to be awarded in the coming year.

The 26-mile Calumet-Sag Trail forms a crucial link between trails running east to Indiana, north to the Chicago Lakefront Trail and west to the I & M Canal trail, and is a component of the 525-mile Grand Illinois Trail, linking the Chicago lakefront to the Mississippi River. The trail follows the historical Cal-Sag Channel and Calumet River through 14 communities in the near south suburbs, and passes through the traditional industrial heart of Chicago.

The grant will support the creation of a development plan for Calumet-Sag trailside amenities including way-finding signage and kiosks. The plan will be comprised of "ready-to-go" projects that can be immediately implemented upon the trail's anticipated completion in 2012.

"This grant will do more than support the planning and development of one 26-mile rail-trail," says RTC President Keith Laughlin. "Millions of people will gain greater, safer, healthier and more economical access to places in their community because of the Calumet-Sag Trail. That is a gift for generations to come."

Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation, says, "Coca-Cola is proud to support the trail growth in Chicago Southland and to partner with organizations like Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and Friends of the Calumet-Sag Trail. Both organizations know how to create and leverage opportunities that benefit the communities they serve, including promoting healthy active lifestyles by encouraging people to walk, run and bike along the expanded trail."

The grant presentation is part of the "Green Legacy" Burnham Centennial celebration, culminating in Alsip, Ill., at 4 p.m., with state and local dignitaries on the trail at the Alsip Park District's Freedom Park (131st Street and Cicero Avenue). For more information on the Calumet-Sag Trail visit

For more information on RTC's Metropolitan Grants Program contact Jeff Ciabotti at

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 100,000 members and supporters, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information visit

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
5th Floor
Washington, DC 20037