The Rails to Trails initiative underway in the Pittsburgh area has at its heart, two lofty goals: preservation of the natural environment and opening up of the included area to recreational use. That recreational use would be primarily for hiking and biking, and it would be part of a much larger movement underway in the state of Pennsylvania under the guidance of the Rails for Trails Conservancy (RTC).
The Rails for Trails Conservancy
The RTC seeks to convert unused railroad right-of-way lands into highly used trails to promote healthy lifestyles for the state’s citizenry, as well as to promote the re-discovery of some beautiful landscape which the trails pass through. In 2012, Pennsylvania added a huge 200-mile network of trails to the system, and has in its sights an eventual 750-mile tract between southern New Jersey and central Pennsylvania.
One of the great bits of fortune in converting the old railway lines into biking trails is that much of the needed infrastructure is already in place on those old rail lines – piping and drainage were installed long ago when the rails were first built, which has made trail construction relatively easy.
The entire network of trail-building in Pennsylvania has been the result of many different organizations and agencies which have come together to help achieve the common goals that would benefit all. At one point in the 1990’s, Pittsburgh was ranked in the Bottom 10 for biking trail availability among major U.S. cities – but with the cooperation of so many dedicated organizations like Rails for Trails, the city has had an astonishing reversal that saw it become host of the 2014 ProWalk/ProBike Conference.
Awareness for this massive initiative has permeated the entire state, and has individuals and agencies clamoring to get on board for the great cause.
Assistance from John G. Rangos Sr. Charitable Foundation
The large 71-acre parcel of land donated by the Philanthropic Foundation headed by John G. Rangos runs through Westmoreland County and follows an old rail line that passes through the townships of Salem. Loyalhana, and Slickville, Pennsylvania. This donation represents quite a bestowal, in that the property has been appraised at more than $2.25 million, and in accepting the deed to this property, the Regional Trail Corporation pledged to develop the land suitably for hiking and biking accessible to all.
The John G. Rangos Sr. Family Charitable Foundation is a Pittsburgh community foundation which specifically helps advance the cause of youngsters to achieve good health and good education as the basis of their future adult lives. Donations to organizations and charities in the health and education fields help to achieve that goal of a sound future for area youth. Take the time to learn more about their programs, and discover what you can do to help build a better future.