The Washington Sustainable Growth Alliance held an awards ceremony on April 27 on the lawn at George Washington’s Mount Vernon to announce their 2011 Regional Conservation Priorities awards. The completion of the Capital Crescent and MetBranch Trails was named as one of six conservation priorities selected from over 50 candidate projects by a jury. Representatives present from Purple Line NOW!, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and Rails-to-Trails were recognized for promoting this project. The selection criteria and the priority projects are described in the award publication, A Call to Action (a pdf).
The award publication, A Call to Action, describes what is needed to complete these two trails, and gives the reasons for the selection as a Regional Conservation Priority:
WHY A PRIORITY?
- Linking the Capital Crescent and the Metropolitan Branch
Branch Trails in Silver Spring will close the final gap in a trail system that circumnavigates the District of Columbia, connecting many urban centers, major destinations, parks, as well as public transit stations in the District of Columbia and Maryland.
- The completed trails will provide convenient, safe and accessible pedestrian and cycling options to many neighborhoods along their routes, including some areas that until now have been underserved.
- Scarce funding for major capital improvements is a constant challenge for state and local governments today. For this initiative to progress in a timely manner, they must maintain trail and associated projects at the highest possible level of priority.
The Washington Sustainable Growth Alliance is comprised of these organizations:
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation
- Coalition for Smarter Growth
- Enterprise Community Partners
- Greater Washington Board of Trade
- Metropolitan Washington Builders’ Council
- ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing
- ULI Washington
(Disclosure: I helped Purple Line NOW! nominate this project for consideration for this award.)