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Keystone Trail, Neb.


The Doppelt Family
Rail-Trail Champions Award

The Doppelt family's connection to rail-trails extends back to the railroads themselves. Brothers Frederick and Lawrence Doppelt were long-time investors in numerous rail companies, such as Burlington Northern, Florida East Coast, Missouri Pacific, Penn Central, Union Pacific, Western Maryland and others, and enjoyed being able to use trains for their daily transportation needs. They provided their families with a wealth of opportunities to experience the romance of train travel, seeing the country from the special vantage point of the rails. These experiences fed a love of both history and of the outdoors, and in the years since, Doppelt family members have been generous supporters of efforts to protect and promote both the historical and natural resources found along the thousands of miles of rail corridors spanning the United States.

Even as it took legions of workers to construct America's rail system in the 19th and early 20th centuries, building today's network of rail-trails takes the combined efforts of thousands of individuals in communities coast to coast. In recognition of and gratitude for these dedicated individuals, Jeffrey Doppelt and the members of the Doppelt family are pleased to fund the Doppelt Family Rail-Trail Champions Award, which honors supporters who have made significant contributions to the rail-trail movement through their work, volunteerism or support—in short, people who have gone above and beyond in the name of trails.

On October 1, 2011, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) commemorated its 25th anniversary with an award reception in Washington, D.C. At the event, RTC paid tribute to the honorees and their enduring place in the rail-trail movement.

The Doppelt Family
Rail-Trail Champions Award Recipients

(click on each name to see full profile)
Fred Schaeffer May Theilgaard Watts
David and Barbara Burwell Peter Harnik
Mark C. Ackelson David Brickley
Linda McKenna Boxx Tom Murphy
George M. Burrier, Jr. Ray LaHood
Greg Cox Steve Kinsey
Linda B. Crider Brian Smith
Joshua David and Robert Hammond Robert P. Thomas
David Dionne Ed McBrayer
Ed Honton Sally Cope Jacobs
Darwin Hindman Edward and Hilda P. Jones
Carolyn Kane Fred Meijer
Terry McGaughey James L. Oberstar
Charles H. Montange Ron Sims

To learn more about the Rail-Trail Champions program, contact Karl Wirsing at

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