A few weeks ago, I was out for a short jog on the Met Branch Trail with my very energetic pup, Tahdie. In the short stretch between the Fort Totten Metro and Catholic University, I saw not one, but TWO CTC Steering Committee members who were both coincidentally out for bike rides (Hi Eric! Hi Elliott!). Even though we didn’t chat for long, those unexpected spontaneous interactions made my day – and made me reflect on how lucky I am to have access to many great trails.

When we have accessible, welcoming spaces where we can engage with the people and places around us, it makes those places feel like home. Let’s keep working so people of all ages and abilities across the region can experience the community benefits of an equitably distributed trail network.

Read on below for opportunities to get engaged and for updates on local trails. 

Mark your calendars! We hope to see you soon at these highlighted events:

Cheers to Trails on March 18thThrough a collaboration between REI and Red Bear Brewing Co, a portion of proceeds from a new beer called Second Wind will benefit the Capital Trails Coalition! Cheers to the CTC during trivia night at Red Bear Brewing from 7-9pm. 

Leading up to the social, everyone is encouraged to participate in the Every Mile Together Trail Challenge! To participate, post a photo from a local trail between March 1st-March 18th, tagging @REI and @WABADC with #TrailChallenge to be eligible for a prize distributed at the social. 

SAVE THE DATE: CTC’s Quarterly Meeting will be held on March 26th. We will hear a panel discussion about how trails contribute to healthy communities – from improving physical, mental, and public health – to building accessible communities for people of all ages and abilities. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Richard Trent, Friends of Anacostia Park
  • Lauren Marr, District Department of Health
  • Kay Rodriguez, Outerly

**If you have announcements or upcoming events to highlight in future newsletters, please reach out.**


Take Action:

  • Visualize 2050 Comment Opportunity: From March 1 – 30, 2024, the public can comment on an important, major element of the proposed National Capital Region Transportation Plan, Visualize 2050. Provide your feedback on the proposed roadway and transit projects that change the transportation network’s capacity and are thus determined to be regionally significant in relation to the attainment of federal air quality standards. NOTE: The Transportation Planning Board states that minor roadway projects such as intersection improvements, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, or transit improvements such as bus stop are not included in the air quality analysis network and are not part of the March 2024 comment period.
  • Federal Policy Opportunity: Outdoors for All Act (via the REI Cooperative Action Network): 100 million Americans live without a quality park within a 10-minute walk from home. In far too many low-income neighborhoods and urban areas, quality time outside is out of reach due to systemic barriers that prevent people – disproportionately communities of color – from enjoying nearby green spaces. The Outdoors for All Act seeks to close this nature gap by making a program called the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program permanent law, securing funding for green spaces in underserved communities. Take action here.
  • North American Trail Sector Survey Launched: American Trails partnered with the Trans Canada Trail to launch the inaugural North American Trail Sector Survey.If you manage, build, maintain, or plan trails, please take this important survey. Results will inform the North American trail community on the health of trails and trail systems across our continent, identify pressure points, and arm advocates with the data they need to make the case for trails in their region. Learn more.
  • League of American Bicyclists Federal Policy Priority Setting: Help shape the federal policy platform of the League of American Bicyclists to create more walkable, bikeable communities:
    • Survey for Citizen Advocates: Our survey of Citizen Advocates is perfect for anyone who wants to share their thoughts on national policy. 
    • Survey for State and Local Advocates and Practitioners: The State and Local Advocates and Practitioners survey is ideal for folks who are familiar with specific programs like Safe Streets for All or Transportation Alternatives and are comfortable with acronyms and a little jargon.

Trail Updates:

  • The Creating Equitable Connection on the Capital Trails Network project across Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and DC that was awarded a RAISE Grant last year has been selected as a megaproject for 2024:“Under the initiative that started in 2023, certain construction projects valued at $35 million or more, receiving partial or full federal funding and lasting more than one year will be designated “megaprojects” under the U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ Mega Construction (Megaprojects) Program…In addition to receiving federal funding, the projects selected are those that “have the greatest potential to make a positive difference in the community.
  • The National Capital Region Transportation Planing Board received an update on the National Capital Trail Network in January and approved the updates to the National Capital Trail Network in February. Staff recommended an increased rate of progress on the trail network and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Celebrate Trails Day is April 27th! Trails might be on your mind every day, but this one is special! Celebrate Trails Day is an annual commemoration of America’s Trails, established by the Rails to Trails Conservancy in 2013. Organizations across the county can register events to reach a broader audience and be included in the national celebration – and event planners can receive partnership materials and updates.
  • 9/11 National Memorial Trail Tour this June: The Alliance is thrilled to announce that the 2024 9/11 National Memorial Trail Bike Tour is scheduled to take place from June 5 to July 1, 2024. This meaningful journey will cover a distance of 1,200 miles over 27 days, traversing through scenic landscapes and paying tribute to the memory of those affected by the events of September 11, 2001. Learn more.
A small child and an adult in the Trolley Trail Extension in Hyattsville, MD.
A child and adult enjoy a safer crossing along the Trolley Trail Extension in Hyattsville, MD.


Take Action:

  • Share Input on Better Parks for Older Adults: Montgomery Parks seeks feedback on how to improve parks for adults ages 55 and older. Take the Active Aging Survey.
  • Weigh in on the Greenbelt and Vicinity Wayfinding Signage Survey:
    • Survey: Take the survey to let the City of Greenbelt know what works and what needs improvement.
    • Interactive map: Drop a pin on our map to identify wayfinding signage gaps/needs in Greenbelt.

What we’ve been up to:

  • Testified in support of funding for trails during Prince George’s County County Executive Alsobrook’s FY2025 budget listening session in January. We called for continued funding for trail construction and maintenance and for the staff needed to realize our vision of a world-class multi-use trail network spanning Prince George’s County.
  • Provided testimony during the Montgomery County Council Hearing on the FY2025 Capital Budget and Capital Improvements Program testimony to preserve funding for parks and trails.
  • Spoke with high school student advocates from WABA’s Vision Zero Youth Institute and planners Adam Dodgshon and Christina Hartsfield of Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Trail supporters, including the East Coast Greenway Alliance, Bike Maryland, and WABA, attended the Bike Maryland Symposium in Annapolis to discuss a number of policies that improve the safety and experience of active transportation and recreation participants.

Trail Updates:

  • Greenbelt East Trail progress: On the Friends of the Greenbelt East Trail stakeholders call last Friday, MDOT SHA reported that the feasibility studies for both the Sector 2 (NASA) and the whole trail (ERHS past NASA to Glenn Dale) were now completed and under internal comment and review. They suggested that the Sector 2 feasibility study comment period would be 2-4 weeks, and the full trail comment period 4-6 weeks. Thus, we should get a first look at the Sector 2 Feasibility Study in mid March and the full trail study by the beginning of April. Join the newsletter for updates about this exciting project. 
  • Progress towards a Maryland State Trails Office: Bike Maryland and trail advocates across the state are advocating for a bill that would establish a Maryland State Trails Office (Great Maryland Trails Act (SB0645/HB0530) – Sponsored by Senator Sarah Elfreth and Delegate Regina Boyce). Read up on Bike Maryland’s slate of policy priorities here.
  • March 13th Webinar on Adaptive Trail Cycling: Come learn about adaptive trail standards, how you can support these efforts, borrow a bike, or help build a trail.


Take Action:

  • Help Map the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail – Training on March 28th:  The Northern Virginia Regional Commission is looking for volunteers to help identify existing trail amenities, wayfinding, interpretive signage, and other characteristics along the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail using a mobile phone app. Join a virtual volunteer training on March 28th from 5:30pm-6:30pm

What we’ve been up to:

  • CTC members, including WABA and the East Coast Greenway Alliance, attended the Virginia Outdoor Recreation Caucus and Reception in Richmond this week, along with many other trails advocates.
  • WABA and other advocates participated in a trail ride on February 10th to review conditions of the Custis Trail with the Arlington Bicycle Advisory C to better inform rehab plans (see above).
  • WABA hosted a meet and greet for Arlington County At-Large Candidates for the County Board to hear about their perspectives on sustainable, active transportation.

Trail Updates:

  • Construction on the Sparrow Pond Connection/Detour on W&OD Trail. The W&OD trail near Sparrow Pond in Ballston is detoured to the Four Mile Run trail until approximately early April 2024. The work will allow the construction team to finish the new outfall that will connect Sparrow Pond to Four Mile Run. To learn more about the project and detours, visit theSparrow Pond Restoration project page.
  • NVRC Initiates Gap Analysis Study for the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.
  • Virginia to receive millions for trails and road safety improvements: Fairfax will update the transportation portion of its comprehensive plan and develop a countywide plan for prioritizing “safety, comfort and access for all to all destinations.” The “Slow Streets” pilot project that will include improvements to street safety will be conducted near the Springfield Plaza shopping mall.
  • City of Alexandria celebrated the ribbon cutting for The African American Waterfront Heritage Trail.
  • New report finds that many Arlington hiking trails are unsustainable and harmful to the environment.
Participants at The Hike Crew's Hike Through History event in February 2024 on the Anacostia River Trail.
Participants at The Hike Crew’s Hike Through History event in February 2024 on the Anacostia River Trail.


Take Action:

  • Provide Feedback on the Oxon Run Stream and Park Project: Help DOEE, DPR, the National Park Service, and DC Water gain a better understanding of community members’ wants and needs by completing the Community Input Survey and interactive map.
  • Share comments on the Buzzard Point Interim Trail by March 1st: The Buzzard Point interim trail is intended to create a safe bike path connecting the route along The Wharf with the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that runs through Yards Park and over into Anacostia Park. Send comments or questions on the project to, KGL Communications.
  • Save the Foundry Branch Trolley Trestle Bridge! Sign this petition to Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to keep the bridge to be rehabbed as a pedestrian and bicycle crossing. Future plans for the trestle could include a multi-use trail that would benefit local students.
  • Ward 8 Bike Alliance Petition: Today, many Ward 8 residents bike all over Ward 8—for commuting, for exercise, and for fun—but their lives are threatened by unsafe road designs and reckless driving behavior. Join the community petition in support of bike safety in Ward 8.

What we’ve been up to:

  • Celebrated and learned about history on the Anacostia River Trail with DPR and The Hike Crew. This event was a soft launch to a new campaign we’re launching in coordination with the Anacostia Parks and Community Collaborative this spring, called the Five in Stride Trails Campaign, which encourages community members to bring friends and family members together outdoors to explore and celebrate local trails and parks.
  • Testified during DDOT oversight hearing, calling for progress on equitably distributed trails, and noting the need to support maintenance.
  • Joined community events including:
    • Participated in an Oxon Hill Park Community Meeting hosted by DOEE.
    • Participated in DC Trail Rangers’ Coffee Hours on the Met Branch Trail.
    • Joined kick-off meeting for Ward 8 Bike Alliance.
    • Supported the Ward 5 Family Biking ride, ending on the MBT.
    • Received an update about the Foundry Branch Trolley Trestle, in a meeting led by the Georgetown University Student Association.

Trail Updates:

  • NCPC Approves plans for the Arboretum Bridge & TrailThe National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) approved preliminary and final site development plans for the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Extension and National Arboretum Access Bridge on February 1st. Plans submitted by the National Park Service, in collaboration with the District Department of Transportation, are for the extension of the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail through the Kenilworth portion of Anacostia Park and across the Anacostia River to the National Arboretum. The project will provide pedestrian and bicycle access to the National Arboretum from Ward 7 neighborhoods to the east of the river, and access to Anacostia Park (near Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens) from Ward 5 neighborhoods to the west of the river.
  • The record of Q&A from the 2023 New York Avenue Streetscape and Trail Project Public Meeting has been posted. Review questions and responses from the project team here.
  • 11th Street Bridge Project: 11th Street Bridge Project is at 100% design and construction is slated to begin in 2024. Read more at the HillRag.


New USDOT Grant Resource: The updated USDOT Key Notices of Funding Opportunity tracker includes new anticipated opening dates for key programs. 

Federal Funding Resources from Rails to Trails Conservancy
: Looking for information about federal funding opportunities? Check out Rails to Trails Conservancy’s Federal Funding Resources and their Federal Funding Tool to help you identify the best sources for your project.

2024 Trail Stewardship Partnership Grant– Applications Open in March 2024

The NFSTS Funding Program is made possible through the National Forest System Trail Stewardship Act of 2016. The Act significantly increases the role of volunteers and partners in trail maintenance to aid in addressing backlogged projects such as signage upgrades, trail clearing, reroutes, bridge and structure repair, and improvements to drainage. In addition to supporting completion of much needed trail maintenance projects, this program engages thousands of volunteers and adds significant leverage to Federal dollars.

Grant Application Bootcamps from the Local Infrastructure Hub: participants will receive access to templates, example submissions, and other supports. During the Bootcamps, the Local Infrastructure Hub will also provide participants with access to subject-matter experts, data resources, office hours, individualized coaching sessions, and peer-to-peer learning to engage with experts and other applicants from peer cities going through the same program.

These Bootcamps will provide communities with the tools and guidance they need to build a robust, competitive federal grant application for Safe Streets & Roads for All, PROTECT, Clean Energy Tax Credits, CWSRF, and Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grants.

Want to get involved with the CTC?

Become a Member! Does your organization, company, or agency care about multi-use trails? Could you help us advance our vision to complete the 1,000-mile network of trails across the region or to help residents and trail users feel more comfortable using trails? Reach out to Kalli Krumpos to learn about how you and your organization can join the CTC!

If you haven’t already, sign up on our website to receive future newsletters and updates. 

If your organization has an opportunity to engage on a related issue or has an open position, please feel free to share information with the Capital Trails Coalition Google Group or to share the message directly with the CTC for inclusion in the next round-up email.