Who Does What?
Pennsylvania’s thousands of miles of greenways and land and water trails are created, maintained, and managed by scores of local trail groups—many of them all-volunteer—as well as local municipalities, counties, and state agencies. Responsibilities and decision-making lie with the individual entities involved with each corridor rather than any overarching body. This creates a wealth of opportunities for volunteers to shape their communities for the better—whether by helping with maintenance, fundraising, arranging events, donating professional expertise, or supporting trails and greenways in other ways. The first step for any would-be volunteer is to identify what trail groups are active in their area or what opportunities are provided by their local governments.
Several entities play key roles in supporting the volunteers and professionals engaged in greenway and trail work in Pennsylvania:
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Recreation and Conservation provides grants for trail projects (planning, acquisition, development, and redevelopment), staffs the Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee, and provides invaluable statewide perspective regarding greenway and trail needs and issues.
Keystone Trails Association
Keystone Trails Association is a federation of membership organizations and individuals dedicated to providing, preserving, protecting, and promoting recreational hiking trails and hiking opportunities in Pennsylvania, and to representing and advocating the interests and concerns of the Pennsylvania hiking community.
Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee
The 20-member Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee represents both motorized and non-motorized trail users and advises state government on the use of state and federal trail funding. The Committee helps implement the recommendations of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan to develop a statewide land and water trail network.
Pennsylvania Environmental Council
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council facilitates regional partnerships to advance trail systems and projects, providing professional insight grounded in years of experience into project planning, design, and development. It leads and partners in a wealth of programs across the state.
WeConservePA develops and maintains technical guidance for greenway and trails professionals and volunteers, manages the biennial Greenways & Trails Summit and many other training and networking events, maintains the Pennsylvania Greenways & Trails online hub, prepares the PA Greenway & Trail News e-newsletters, and provides trail workshop mini-grants in partnership with DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.