Building America’s Infrastructure
& Trail & Transportation Professionals
Many Corps across the country engage Corpsmembers in building and maintaining trails and other transportation infrastructure for walking, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, off-road motorized vehicle driving, and other uses. Corps perform quality work, routinely winning awards from the Coalition for Recreational Trails.
Among other projects, Corps have done work to help build, maintain, and improve:
- Accessible, ADA-compliant pathways
- Bike trails
- Equestrian trails
- Bridges and boardwalks
- Long distance trails, like the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest
- Multimodal trails
OHV and ATV trails
- Tribal trails and roads
- Water trails/Blueways
- Winter trails (cross-country ski and snowmobile)
- Trailside and Trailhead facilities
- (e.g. benches, interpretive signs, ladders, staircases, etc.)
Through service on trail/transportation projects, Corpsmembers may learn skills in:
- Erosion control
- Historic Preservations tools and methods
- Log cribbing
- Safe use of tools like jackhammers, Macleods, pick axes, pionjars, pulaskis, rock bars, and various kinds of saws
- Safe use of heavy mechanical equipment (excavators, loaders, bulldozers, etc.)
- Rock and masonry work
- Surveying and data collection/analysis
- Vegetation management (invasive species removal and planting natives)
- Project management and leadership
- Wilderness stewardship
Partnership with the Department of Transportation (DOT)
The Corps Network and the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are partnering to foster relationships and develop systems and resources that encourage state and regional transportation agencies to work with Service and Conservation Corps. These local and state-level partnerships with Corps help transportation agencies complete critical transportation and recreational trail projects, and also help enhance career pathways for Corpsmembers. Working together, The Corps Network and FHWA are producing toolkits, compiling best practices, and aim to provide trainings and workshops to support these partnerships.
About the Recreational Trail Program
An important funding source for Corps’ trail and transportation projects is the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). This program provides funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The RTP is an assistance program of the FHWA. Federal transportation funds benefit recreation including hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.
AmeriCorps Transportation & Infrastructure Program
With an AmeriCorps National Direct Grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, The Corps Network launched the Transportation & Infrastructure Program (TIP) in 2018. Through TIP, Corps will annually engage over 100 diverse youth and young adults, primarily ages 16 to 25 (up to age 35 for veterans), in public lands and transportation infrastructure projects in multiple communities. Corpsmember service activities will specifically focus on increasing access to and utilization of our public lands and waters, and promoting transportation alternatives, enhancements, and safety. This program is aligned with the CNCS targeted priority of Infrastructure.