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Members Project Update

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy one of six winners to receive a $200,000 donation

They say good news comes to those who wait.

Well, after 12 long weeks of fierce competition and those final days of jockeying for first place with our formidable friends at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the wait is over! You already know things were tied up, 43-43, when the clock struck midnight.

So where does that leave us? Well, why don't we let our mates at the National Trust tell you…

Hey, rail-trail supporters! On behalf of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we'd like to be the first to congratulate Rails-to-Trails Conservancy on winning the $200,000 Members Project grant from American Express and Take Part. We couldn't be happier or more excited for you—especially because the National Trust has been named co-winners with you, due to what ultimately was a tied vote between our organizations.

Going into this competition, I was aware of some of the great work RTC did, but this competition gave me an even closer look into your amazing programs and initiatives. The work you do connecting, building and promoting trails to create links to our cultural heritage and transportation future really resonated with us.

Our organizations have a lot in common. At the National Trust, we focus on issues such as sustainability, rural heritage, and land conservation. Our National Main Street Center works with downtowns large and small to help them find ways to become—and remain—viable centers of their communities. And, our annual 11 Most Endangered List has included sites such as the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Corridor, where power lines have threatened the landscape, and America's State Parks, threatened by budget cuts.

In some ways, our organizations' goals are as close as the voting was in the online contest. Many thanks to all of you who took the time to support Rails-to-Trails Conservancy—your efforts made us work harder to earn our votes, and we're grateful for that. We're also looking forward to working together in the future... because we don't want to be up against you again!

Happy Trails!

Sarah Heffern
Content Manager & Blog Editor,


Thanks, National Trust for Historic Preservation! This is a win all the sweeter and more significant because we are sharing it with you and your important work. And thank you to American Express for your tremendous generosity. Through the Members Project competition, our supporters told us exactly why rail-trails were so vital to their communities and their lives, and why they were voting for RTC. We're honoring that dedication by using this award to further our initiatives that enable more people to build, find and use trails for transportation and recreation.

Friends, thank you for persevering and voting for us every week. You helped us bring home a win for rail-trails, and for that, we are ever grateful.



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