FLATS has been awarded technical assistance through the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program to support its mission of connecting Kirksville to Thousand Hills State Park with a paved multi-use hiking and biking trail!
Over the next year, RTCA staff will assist FLATS with planning and funding research for Phases Two and Three of the project, which will link to the parkâ€™s two campgrounds and eventually connect to the city ofKirksville.
This project helps further the goals of the Presidentâ€™s Americaâ€™s Great Outdoors initiative, supporting community efforts to increase access to outdoor recreation, and to cultivate stewardship and appreciation of Americaâ€™s natural and recreational resources through innovative partnerships. The proposed Forest Lake Area Trail System provides an important connection between the city of Kirksville and the resources at Thousand Hills State Park.
â€œI am looking forward to working closely with the FLATS committee and the Kirksville community to envision a trail system that will enhance the quality of life for residents and provide an economic boost to the area,â€ said Kimberly Shafer, Outdoor Recreation Planner with the National Park Service-RTCA program.
Through the RTCA Program, the National Park Service helps communities and neighborhoods to preserve valuable open spaces, revitalize nearby rivers, and develop trail and greenway networks. Projects are locally conceived and initiated, with RTCA staff supporting community based recreation and conservation leaders.
This year, 200 communities will receive assistance from the RTCA program on projects nationwide. RTCA project partnerships result in over 1700 miles of trail, nearly 1000 miles of river conserved, and more than 50,000 acres of open space protected on average annually.
For more information on the National Park Service RTCA program, visitÂ www.nps.gov/rtca.