MEDIA ADVISORY FOR:
March 2, 2023
Patricia Brooks, Patricia@matchmapmedia.com, 202.351.1757
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Hosts Expert Roundtable to Discuss Importance of Nation’s Trails in Building Community, Encouraging People to Be Active Outside, and Inspiring Action for the Planet
CDC, EARTHDAY.org and Women @ Work to join roundtable discussion focused on strategies for being active outside in ways that promote healthy people, planet and communities.
Experts to provide insight and resources to inform stories ahead of tenth annual Celebrate Trails Day and Earth Day, both recognized on April 22.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In anticipation of the spring season and the opportunity for millions of Americans to spend more time being active outdoors, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation’s largest trail advocacy organization, is hosting a media roundtable on March 2 at 1 p.m. Eastern, with experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), EARTHDAY.org, and the Pittsburgh-based cycling club, Women @ Work.
The virtual event will feature expert advice and resources to inform stories this spring and summer about being active outside, addressing the importance of places and programming for encouraging people to be physically active, while building community and creating opportunities to take individual climate action by swapping car trips for a short walk or bike ride.
The event will offer tips and resources for covering the outdoor trails season ahead of Celebrate Trails Day and Earth Day, which align this year on Saturday, Apr. 22. For the last decade, Celebrate Trails Day has been the nation’s annual spring celebration of America’s trails and a motivator for people to be active. In 2022, participants reported more than 65 minutes being physically active outside on the trail, which contributed significantly to the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity adults should get each week. Combined, participants logged over 812,000 minutes of physical activity on Celebrate Trails Day. In addition, one quarter (24%) of participants reported swapping a short car trip for a walk or a bike ride to their destination, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from personal vehicles.
WHAT: “Building Community, Inspiring Climate Action and Encouraging Physical Activity through Trails”
A roundtable discussion followed by Q&A with reporters. Speakers will address:
- Why national days of action like Celebrate Trails Day and Earth Day are important motivators for people and communities, demonstrating consumer demand for safe spaces to walk, bike and be active outside.
- The latest data on trail use, based on national user counts and a recent national poll revealing perceptions of trails, physical activity and interest in getting around more on foot and by bike.
- Tips for getting outside on trails, how to #RecreateResponsibly, and what it takes to swap a car trip for a trail trip.
- Insights into how trails are part of the EARTHDAY.ORG call to “Invest in the Planet.”
WHEN: Mar. 2, 2023, 1 p.m. Eastern
WHERE: Please register here. Registrations are allowed until the start of the event.
- Brandi Horton, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
- Evan Raskin, EARTHDAY.ORG
- Ken Rose, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Robin Woods, Women at Work Cycling Club, Pittsburgh
Celebrate Trails Day comes this year at time of unprecedented opportunity for trails, walking and biking. Nationwide, trail use increased on average 9.5% between 2022 and 2021, and 45% between 2022 and 2019—nearly at the record levels set in 2020, demonstrating enduring demand for trails across the country. A recent opinion poll conducted by RTC found that a majority of respondents (62%) report using trails once a week or less, but 24% say they’re using trails more than they did in the past year, which is particularly true for Black (35%) and Latino (27%) trail users. In addition, many Americans say they’re interested in using trails more than they do now—26% say a lot more and 36% say a little more.
The majority of trips taken in this country are within a 20-minute bike ride or less, more than one in four trips are within a 20-minute walk or less, and 11.5% of all trips are made by walking and biking. By swapping more of these trips from car trips to walking or biking, the U.S. economy could save more than $22 billion annually and save 54 million tons of CO2 annually.
The CDC reports that only about 1 in 4 adults fully meet the physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities and that increasing our physical activity is one of the best things we can do for our health. Findings from the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends parks, trails, and greenways as infrastructure interventions that increase physical activity. These improvements, however, need to be combined with community engagement to increase awareness, expand programs and enhance access. Active People, Healthy Nation℠ is a national initiative led by the CDC to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027 with resources to help more people meet the physical activity guidelines.
To find creative ideas for getting outside, first-person stories of the impact of trails, photo and video content for use with credit to RTC, and direct access to RTC’s free trail-finder website and app, TrailLink.com, reporters are encouraged to visit RTC’s Celebrate Trails Day website.
The public can visit railstotrails.org/celebratetrails and follow #CelebrateTrails on social media for information about Celebrate Trails Day, to find events, and to win prizes.
Athletic Brewing Co. is the premiere sponsor of Celebrate Trails Day. Celebrate Trails Day is supported by the CDC’s “Active People, Healthy Nation” initiative, “Parks for All” championed by Hydro Flask, Warm Peet, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, Mirrycle, EARTHDAY.ORG, and Sports Backers.
Celebrate Trails Day is the annual celebration of the spring trail season, recognized on the fourth Saturday in April. The national celebration is organized by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation’s largest trails organization—with a grassroots community more than 1 million strong. RTC is dedicated to building a nation connected by trails, reimagining public spaces to create safe ways for everyone to walk, bike and be active outdoors. Follow #CelebrateTrails on social media for updates and connect with RTC at railstotrails.org and @railstotrails on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.